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Chapter 5: Not just a Pointy Stick
Lily stormed over to her brothers and had a very angry, whisper-shout conversation with them. During said angry, whisper-shout conversation, a lot of points and glares were sent my way. The Potter siblings all seemed to be wearing identical looks of confusion and anger on their faces.
I looked to the front to the teacher’s table that ran perpendicular to our own to see if any of them had noticed the Potters.
McGonagall was staring at the Potters, probably wondering what they were doing. She glanced at me and made eye contact. Her stare froze me like a deer in the headlights. She seemed to scrutinize me like I was a new species of animal, like maybe I was different from everyone else here.
NO! Shit, please no don’t do that!
She began to stand up and leave her seat, her eyes never leaving me and the Potters.
“Miss De Angelis,” she began primly. I stared up at her face, trying my hardest not to meet those piercing eyes of hers. “Please may I have a word?”
“Erm...sure?” I replied, unsure of what she wanted a word about. I’d have to be careful to not give anything away. Not that I knew what there was to give away but I could tell from how worked up Lily was that there was something to hide.
I walked, again, underneath the high stone archway of the Great Hall, staring up to its almost invisible point.
McGonagall closed the doors to the room, leaving us in silence in the drafty entrance hall.
“Miss De Angelis, if you don’t mind me asking, do you know your heritage?”
What kind of a question was that?! It sounded rather medieval and just not something you’d hear nowadays.
“Well, I don’t know who my father is if that’s what you meant.” I said confidently, hoping that if I looked like I knew what I was talking about, she would possibly leave me be and stop interrogating me.
“Interesting...” she muttered under her breathe.
We stood in silence for several minutes, her just staring at me, clearly absorbed in her thoughts.
“May I?” she asked, producing a pair of scissors from mid air and gesturing towards my hair.
“Why would you need some of my hair?” I asked, positively lost.
“Oh, I was just wondering if I could find out who your father is...” she trailed off, clearly uncomfortable with the turn in events.
I had never thought of doing this before though; finding out whom my father is you see. I always knew I was just the product of one of my mum’s one night stands from her younger days; I knew I was just a mistake. It just never crossed my mind to find out who else had participated in making the accident that was me.
You know what, it’s now or never. I had this weird niggling feeling in my brain that this was the right thing to do, that this was going to be one of the only opportunities I would ever have to discover the mystery of my father, the blank in my life.
“Go ahead,” I prompted “I want to know who he is. It’s never entered my head to try and find out who he is but...y’know, I think it’s time I find out.”
McGonagall reached out with her scissors and snipped off one strand of my platinum hair, holding onto it like it was the most precious thing in the world.
“Thank you Miss De Angelis. I’ll give you the results tomorrow morning after breakfast in my office.”
I gulped the lump of anxiety down my throat, and replied weakly “Thanks Professor” then walked off back towards the Great Hall.
I let out a huge puff of air, my thoughts whizzing round my head like millions of little flies, buzzing annoyingly and constantly. However, there was one predominant question amongst the hundreds of others: Had I done the right thing?
I barely knew the woman and yet I was giving her permission to do some kind of DNA test to find out who my dad was. I mean, I’ve been perfectly content for these past eleven years not knowing who he was, why would it make any difference now?
As I walked into the huge hall again, a couple of older students from each house were gathering us newbies together, ready to lead us to our ‘common rooms’. Hallelujah! A word that I recognised! Happy dance, happy dance.
I was being stared at by the Potter’s. That was never good.
It was ok if you had one of them staring at you, two, you should be a little concerned, but all three...I think we should prepare for some kind of nuclear explosion.
I needed to find an escape, and quickly, or else I would have to face the wrath of the Potters.
“Astra De Angelis?” one of the older, red tie wearing students called.
Yes! An escape route. Go Astra Go! Run to the older student before previously mentioned wrath can get you.
I hurried over to the group. Shouting “Here!” repeatedly so they knew I was there.
“Ok then Gryffindors, it seems we have all of you here.” A girl with a tight blonde ponytail announced.
“We are the Gryffindor prefects for this year, so need you to follow us to the common room, where we will show you your dorms.” The boy standing next to her said, clearly not wanting to be there and using some kind of rehearsed speech.
“If you need any help, we’d be happy to lend you a hand.” The girl beamed, gaining an eye roll from the boy next to her, “Just ask for Natasha Edgecombe or Kyle Jordan and I’m sure we’ll be able to sort out any issues for you.”
Kyle muttered something under his breath, probably something about him not being happy to help.
“Any who, we better get going.” Natasha said, checking her watch before leading us out of the hall.
She was like the pied piper with all us first years marching after her towards the common room, through the stony hallways of Hogwarts. Kyle lagged behind, claiming he was ‘keeping an eye on the stragglers’. Also known as ‘why the hell am I even here’.
We continued down the unfamiliar hallways, meandering through almost identical grey stone walls that were lit by blazing orange torches every few feet. Our footsteps echoed in around in a cacophony of sound.
We were the only group in the halls. Most others had already gone to the common rooms before us and the other groups had gone in multiple other directions to find their quarters.
“Here we are!” Natasha swept her arm out to show us a portrait of a...erm...rather large lady.
“Gather round first years! Ok, now, to get into the common room, you must tell the Fat Lady the password.”
Well that’s a bit rude just outright calling the woman fat, even if she can’t hear you.
“The password for this year is Hippogriff. If you ever forget the password, as I said earlier, just come and find either me or Kyle and we can help you get back into the common room.”
“Good evening, Fat Lady.” Natasha spoke directly to the painting.
The woman in the painting shifted slightly in her seat and looked straight at us. Ok, I’m not fazed anymore, I know freaky things are just going to continue happening around here. I’m surprised I haven’t seen any flying pigs out the window yet. Hell, if I see one of them, I’ll have to do a lot of stuff, including letting James and Al beat me on Call of Duty.
Fingers crossed I don’t come across any of those then.
“Ah, good evening Natasha.” The painting talks as well. Yippdy doo.
“Hippogriff” Natasha said to the ‘Fat’ Lady (I still feel uncomfortable calling her fat, especially because she can talk and move), enunciating the word perfectly.
The frame swung open like a door, revealing a homely room filled with red and gold sofas. The walls were painted a warm burgundy and a fire crackled in the hearth, exuding a heat that wrapped around you. Students were dotted all over the room, catching up with friends and reading books.
No sign of the Potters though. Phew.
Speaking of the Potters, surely Lily should have come on the little walk with the other first years to the common room.
Maybe I should ask one of the prefects, they might know.
Natasha was out of the question as she was already eagerly talking to Sabrina and Lena about the school. Guess I’d have to ask Mr ‘I don’t want to be here’ aka Kyle.
“Um...excuse me, Kyle.” He looked up at me. That was quite promising. “I was just wondering why my friend Lily Potter isn’t with us...” I trailed off; now unsure as to whether that was a stupid thing to ask about.
“Erm...” A response! That’s a very promising sign, “I think her brothers are showing her up here in a bit; something about needing to talk or something.” He shrugged and strolled to the other end of the room, clearly not wanting to deal with any more questions.
“...and girls dorms are over here, just up the stairs.” Natasha just finished her extremely long speech, that I’d mostly ignored, about the common room and dorms.
“So, girls if you want to follow me up to your room and Kyle...KYLE!” she yelled.
“Huh? Yeah?” Kyle was clueless.
Natasha rolled her eyes, tapping her foot impatiently against the floor. “You need to show the first years to their dorms you muppet, can you do that?”
Natasha huffed as she turned on her heel to lead us up some stone stairs.
“Now, girls, don’t worry about boys coming into your dorms as there is a charm that means they can’t come up the stairs.”
What the hell was a charm? Too many questions...brain...exploding.
Eh, I’m sure I’ll find the answers soon enough. Maybe I could make a list of all the questions that I need to know the answers too and then ask Lily or something. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.
“In here,” Natasha announced, opening one of the doors at the top of the stairs, “is your dormitory.”
We all dashed inside, excited to see our dorm.
My mouth gaped open. It was beautiful. The room was circular and had five beds in, yet was not too crowded. A burgundy rug sat in the centre of the room, adding warmth to the room. A frosted window looked out over a breathtaking countryside, including a haunting forest with swaying branches of yellowing leaves.
Despite there being no sign of a radiator, the room was plenty warm and just...felt like home.
I know that sounds cheesy but it just did. The homely feel of the room seemed to wrap around me in a motherly embrace, welcoming me in and telling me I belonged.
What was this place doing to me! It was turning me into a pile of sentimental mush. That could not happen to Astra De Angelis. Oh yes, third person time, this means it’s serious.
“Are you ok now girls? Any more questions?” Natasha asked.
We all replied with synchronised nods, wanting her to just go away.
“Alright then, I’ll be in the common room if you need anything.” She smiled sweetly then walked out of the room.
A second later, Lily entered, looking like she was on a mission. Oh no, and it seemed like that mission was something to do with me.
Sabrina and Lena were too busy unpacking their things to notice Lily’s entrance.
She glanced around the room quickly, then grabbed my arm and dragged me back through the now packed common room, and out into the barren corridor. Dragging me with her, she slipped behind one of the many tapestries and into a small alcove.
We sat there for a few moments, knee to knee, in silence. Lily had her thinking face on, her eyebrows scrunched together slightly and her lips pouting slightly.
“Ok,” she breathed out, clearly unsure of how to say what it was she wanted to say. Internally, I was going ‘just flaming spit it out girl!’ but I could tell from her expression that this was going to be something hard to say.
“Am I getting kicked out of this school or something, Lily?” I blurted out, trying to get her to say something, anything.
She swallowed hard then said, “No, no Astra. It’s just...this is just so hard to put into words and explain and argh!”
“Lily Luna Potter, whatever it is you need to tell me, you can.”
“The thing is, Astra...erm...you see.” She looked up into my eyes, trying to convey a message that I just couldn’t seem to receive.
“God I wish James or Al could do this.” She muttered under her breath, clearly finding this really hard. Well, whatever ‘this’ was.
“Have you got your...pointy stick with you?” She asked, seeming to be gaining a new confidence in what she was saying.
I pulled out the pointy stick I had been given on the train. I was still unsure as to why I had it; it was just a stick after all. Nothing special.
Or was it something. What had Leo called it earlier? A wand was it? Oh God, don’t tell me all those wizard and witch books that are so popular at the moment are actual fact. No that couldn’t be right. Those were all just fiction, the author’s imagination and fantasy world.
“You know earlier when that bread roll hovered over to you?”
I nodded, now extremely worried as to what she was getting to.
“Erm...” Lily puffed out a deep breath, and then blurted “thatwasmagic.”
“What?!” I exclaimed, my eyes bugging out of my head.
“You did magic, Astra.” Lily whispered, her hazel eyes shining.
“So, what...what does this mean? Does this make any difference?”
“No...because...I’m a witch too.” She mumbled.
WHAT! And she never thought to tell me before! I thought we were best friends who told each other everything, including stuff like this.
My eyes stung with tears of hurt, not believing that Lily never told me something so large.
“Why didn’t you tell me before?!” I screamed, releasing an anger that was building up in me.
“Astra, you have to understand. I couldn’t have told you-“
“Why? Why couldn’t you tell me, Lily?”
“Because my parents told me not too!” she yelled back, “Because they said that no one could ever know except my family!”
“Still! We’re best friends, Lily. I’ve told you everything, every last little secret I’ve had, yet you didn’t even tell me something as big as this.” I shook my head in exasperation, not knowing what to think anymore.
“I just...I couldn’t, Astra. I couldn’t tell you that this school, Hogwarts, is a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I couldn’t tell you about me. And I couldn’t tell you that that is not just a pointy stick.”
I stood up now, not wanting to be involved in this madness anymore, whipping the tapestry out of my way.
“Well what is this Lily?” I hissed, brandishing the twig, “What the hell is it? Cause I certainly don’t know.”
“It’s a wand.” She spat, “and you’re a witch and I’m a witch and every bloody person in this school is one too!”
And with that, she ran in the other direction, tears streaming down her flaming cheeks.
So I guess it’s not just a pointy stick after all.
A/N - Drama has arrived people. I hope I'm moving the story on at the right pace and whatnot and hope you're all enjoying the life of Astra so far.
The usual disclaimers apply ;)