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DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry Potter, Xbox, Call Of Duty (COD) or any other brands etc that are mentioned in this chapter or the upcoming next :)
“Fuck you, Albus Potter. Fuck. You.” I yelled into my mike.
“Language!” My Mum’s voice echoed up the stairs.
“Bloody hell, De Angelis, never knew that 11 year olds were into that kind of thing.”
If Al was in the room at that second, I would have walloped him with my pillow of doom. You know I’m serious when I threaten with the pillow of doom.
“Hey, Al, never knew you were into that kind of thing either.” James retorted. Hallelujah for his older brother, who always had the right comeback.
“Ok, back to the game.” I said, getting a silence from my headphones as my neighbours/best friend’s brothers got ready to kill some zombies!
If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m not your average 11 year-old. I do not, under ANY circumstances want to use, cue shiver, make-up or wear, gag, dresses. I also don’t want to do anything to my curly, platinum blonde hair, cough Lily Potter cough. I do, however, love to slaughter zombies on my Xbox.
Me, James and Al, were yelling at each other to ‘Move out the fucking way!’ and ‘Shoot the bloody thing you moron!’ Yeah I think my Mum had given up on telling me about my language.
“AL, OPEN THE DOOR!” I screeched through my headset.
“Ok, ok, chill Astra, I’ll open the door.”
Mwahahahaha, I loved shouting at Lily’s brothers.
Another fact about Astra De Angelis (yes that is my name, bow down to its epicness), she is best friends with her neighbour, Lily Potter, yet prefers to yell at her two teenage brothers on Call of Duty. Yeah...I’m an amazing best friend (note the sarcasm).
“Astra, seeming as you refuse to remove yourself from this...game, I guess I’ll have to talk to you through Al’s mike.”
“Oh, hey, Lil.” I said absent minded.
“FUCK YES!” James bellowed, “That’s my kind of gun!”
I turned my character around on the screen to see James’ man wielding a machine gun, shooting at a hoard of limping zombies.
“Man down! Man down!” Al shouted melodramatically, “Go on without me guys...”
“Al, why do you have to be such a drama queen?!” Lily screamed at him. I cringed, knowing how scary the wrath of Lily could be. “Let me talk to my best friend!”
I rolled my eyes, chuckling to myself as I imagined what would be happening next door at this point in time.
“What are you laughing at Astraeus De Angelis?” Lily snapped.
“Um...uh...” Shit, my life is over. Tell my Mother I love her!
“That’s what I thought.”
James let out a slight laugh.
“Shut up you dickhead.” Lily retorted.
“LILY LUNA POTTER, I NEVER WANT TO HEAR THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE LEAVE YOUR MOUTH EVER AGAIN! AM I CLEAR?!” Mrs Potter was seriously scary when she wanted to be. *Sigh* the positives of only having a Mother as family.
Silence echoed from my headphones.
“Ok...” I trailed off awkwardly.
No one replied.
“Well I guess I’ll be going then...bye people who’ve just randomly disappeared...”
I shut down my Xbox, leaping off my bed for the first time in weeks.
Dramatically, I ripped open my curtains revealing sunlight.
“AAAHHH! My eyes!” I yelled.
“Astra! Are you ok?” My Mum shouted up to me. Ah, the compassion and love my parent has for me.
“Yeah! I’m fine. I’ve been permanently blinded for life by the sun but aside from all that everything’s just fine.”
“Can you come down, Astra honey, dinner’s ready.”
Dinner with Mum was always rather awkward. We just sit there, in silence, eating and...yeah that’s about it.
You see, me and my Mum, we’re like opposites; I like video games, she likes daytime telly, I’m a tomboy and she’s always image conscious.
I never knew my dad, so I’ve never really had anyone to relate to that much, no one that I felt I had loads in common with. Well, within the family of course. Outside of my scarily tiny family, I had the Potter’s. Ever since me and Lily met in reception, we knew we’d be the bestest friends (which I know sounds really cheesy but just deal with it, ok?).
What happened was - cue flashback – imagine the most annoying screech you could ever hear. Then, imagine that coming from the cutest most likeable little girl, with curly blonde hair and big, baby blue eyes being chased by some little boys with worms. I bet your thinking at this moment in time ‘Astra...what did you do to this girl?’ Well: a) STOP ACTING LIKE MY MOTHER! and b) I didn’t do anything. I sat there, glaring at screecher with my already well practiced death stare, willing her to shut the hell up when our darling Lily Potter comes along, with sopping wet red curls and a bucket in her hand. You can probably guess where this is going but I’ll continue with my tale in anyway. Lily marched over to screecher, yelled at her to, I quote, ‘Stop being such a wussy!’ then ceremoniously dumped the bucket of water over her head. She continued to annoyingly screech but at least it was actually funny now.
After laughing for around ten minutes straight, I went over to Lily and told her how absolutely fricking awesome she was. We instantly gelled. The only downside was that Lily got the dreaded phone call home. But that wasn’t too bad. From what I heard, her Dad just laughed.
Lily has such an awesome family.
“Astra?” Mum said softly.
“Have you got everything ready for your new school, for next week?”
“Ummm...maybe...I think so...” Wow. I am the epitome of organised. I just remembered I had about one pen, a broken ruler and my tattered old bag ready for school.
“Sure.” This is a riveting conversation here guys. Well, actually, it’s the rare occasion where we’re actually having a conversation.
“I mean...” she continued, “are you ok going to big school without any friends? Because, you know, Lily’s going to that other school.”
“Well,” I had a lump the size of a tennis ball stuck in my throat. It had only just hit me. I would never go to school with Lily Luna Potter again.
“It’s ok, it’s ok, Astra. I’m sure you’ll make plenty of new friends.” My Mother soothed.
“I...just...I’m gunna miss Lil...” I trailed off tears now tracking down my cheeks as reality hit me.
“Astra, honey, you’re a strong girl. I know you and Lily have been best friends for a long time but...” Ok...the first deep conversation with my Mum EVER...deep breaths Astra, deeeeeep breaths.
I just burst into spine wracking sobs from that point on, not able to hear anything that my Mum said. My brain shoved images of me sitting lonely on a cold metal bench in my cruddy new ‘big school’ and Lil running around laughing with new friends in large green school grounds.
Stop being such a jealous bitch, Astra. You’re better than this. You can make new friends without Lil. You can still be friends; you’ll just go different schools.
Thanks for the pep talk conscience; I don’t know what I’d do without you. You make me feel like I could take on anything; especially a new school.
I straightened my spine and plastered a weak, forced smile on my face (though I probably just looked constipated knowing me).
“You know what, Mum?” I said “I can do this. I can make new friends.”
“Good, Astra. That’s more like it. Just be confident and smile and I promise you will make lots of new friends.”
Pah. Stupid empty promises. My negative conscience scoffed.
Oh god, I think I’m turning into mental patient material with this kind of inner conversation thing. Eurgh, could life get any worse? DON’T even THINK about answering that question. It was a rhetorical question so should be left unanswered. However, I think I am tempting fate a little asking those kinds of questions.
Hmmm...don’t think I should be doing that at this moment in time; life’s already shitty enough.
So... I know I’ve only been discussing my life with you for a couple of minutes but, as you can probably already tell, it’s not exactly all rainbows and unicorns. To sum up my life at the moment in one long hyphenated phrase I believe ‘almost-in-high-school-losing-best-friend-because-of-it-not-having-much-family-support-because-I-have-no-flaming-idea-who-the-hell-my-dad-is’ just about takes into account all the shitiness of the life of 11 year-old Astra De Angelis.
A/N: Hello world....this is my first ever chapter in my first ever fanfiction so I hope you like it :) reviews with positives and constructive criticism would be much appreciated to make this better and to feel confident to post the next chapter (which I have written in my archives ;)) hope you enjoy/enjoyed :D
Chapter 2: Bye, Bye Summer, Hello High School
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Disclaimer: I don't own Call of Duty, Xbox, Gloria Gaynor's I will survive and, as usual, the lovely Miss Rowling owns the awesomeness that is Harry Potter.
Bow down to my extensive vocabulary (not).
I really am sorry for my extra crappy language this morning, but I assure you, that is the only way in this universe to describe what I was wearing.
I know your probably thinking ‘Eh, it can’t be that bad.’ but, my friend, I beg to differ.
If you haven’t figured out, one of my personality traits is also that I’m extremely melodramatic. Making mountains out of molehills etc etc.
Ok, now back to the point: my school uniform. Granted, they didn’t make us wear a tie, which is definitely a bonus, but instead they make us wear horrific lime green polo shirts. As you well know, I’m not one to normally bother about fashion and all that but this colour could blind the guys up there on a space station; it was that bad. AND to top it all off, they made all the girls wear...a skirt. Seriously, a bloody skirt that was black and so tight I ended up waddling like a penguin instead of walking. How I am meant to run away from thugs and rapists in this thing I have no idea.
“Astra, you’re going to be late for introduction day, our train is in fifteen minutes!”
Thanks for reminding me Mum.
So, today I would be going to Southfield Academy’s little introduction day instead of enjoying one of my last days of freedom. Today, according to my ever accurate calendar, is Sunday 1st of September 2019. The significance of this date, you ask? Well, it’s only the day when the newest Call of Duty game comes out (duh).
Instead of rushing to the nearest game store with Al and James, I would be sitting in the main hall of my new prison, I mean school, listening to Headmaster Peterson droning on and on about rules and all that jazz.
“Astraeus De Angelis,” Oh no, not the full name, Mum meant business if she pulled that out “get down here now!”
“Coming Mum, just got to put some shoes on!” I yelled down the stairs.
Hopping from foot to foot, I put on my new school shoes that were freshly polished and fresh off the shelf. Believe me; they won’t be like that for long.
I galloped down the stairs as fast as I could in the stupid penguin skirt, trying not to trip over my feet. I just about made it down the stairs without tripping over. That made the score Astra: 1 Penguin Skirt: 0. Ha, penguin skirt, just ha.
I spoke too soon to myself though. Once I reached the bottom step, I tried to leap around the banister but with the penguin skirt being so tight; my legs were almost stuck together, meaning I fell flat on my face. Well, that evened out the score.
“Astra, get up off the floor NOW. We need to get to the train station.” Mum loomed over me, looking like a giant from this angle. Scratch that, an angry giant that wanted to grab me by the luminous green collar and drag me to Southfields Academy.
I pushed myself up from the beige, carpeted floor and waddled down the hallway to the back door.
Needless to say, that five minute walk to the train station was one of the most awkward walks I’d ever had in my entire life. This time, I’m not being melodramatic.
Ok, maybe a smidgen.
One thing I forgot to mention is that I live pretty much in the middle of London. Not ‘I’m right next to Hamleys and Harrods’ close but close enough that I was only a five minute walk from Kings Cross Station.
The only bonus to seeing the red criss-crossed lines of a train station sign at this moment in time was the fact that it meant the awkward walk was over. Whoop! Whoop!
BUT, and this is a hugemongous but, it also meant that it was almost times to walk the corridors of my new school.
At the station, I got a few weird stares and laughs, but I’ve gone past caring now. I might just go into some kind of mind coma so I don’t have to pay attention to: a) my Mum, b) my new school and c) the fact that my best friend Lily Potter will probably ditch me for some better best friend *sniff*.
Blankly, I stared up at the screen that told me that my train would depart from platform 9 at 11:02. Yippee (not).
More silence from the Mother as we walked to the platform to wait for our train.
The digital clock’s orange lights showed that the time was 10:57. Ha, not so late are we now Mum? I wasn’t about to say that to her face though, God no. I’d already faced the wrath enough for one day, especially this day.
The metal seat met my bum and I relaxed as I waited for the train to arrive in the station to take me away to my metaphorical hell.
I sighed, wondering how bad this really, actually, would be. Possibly, maybe, I was overreacting and things wouldn’t be so bad without Lily and she wouldn’t replace me full time. Maybe our best friendship could survive and we could still do everything we always did in the holidays.
Lily told me that her new school was a boarding school, so she wouldn’t be around during term time at all. It’s not as if I had Albus or James to keep me company on my Xbox either; they go to that school as well.
A whistle blew, waking me from my little moment inside my head.
“Astra,” My Mum regained the ability to speak, “I’m just going to nip the loo; I’ll be back in a minute.”
I was so shocked that she decided to talk to me; I only deigned her with an “Ok” as a response.
Wow. That was a new record. Normally after she got that annoyed with me, she would ignore me for at least half an hour. This time it was only...fifteen minutes. Well, all things happen for a reason.
My brain has officially been killed today. It’s also decided to hallucinate as I can now see Lily and her family walking onto the platform. I could tell it was her because of her bright ginger hair, or as she liked to call it ‘strawberry blonde’. She was definitely in denial.
Oh wait, a light bulb went off in my head. Now, don’t go all prejudice against blondes, I do have light bulb moments quite often and I’m no ditz so put all that out of your mind.
Back to the little light bulb, I realised that Lily did say she had to go to Kings Cross to get to school today at around eleven. I thought it a bit bizarre at the time that school would start at such a weird time but at that moment, my brain didn’t exactly bother to register that minor detail.
I ran like a mad cavewoman-penguin hybrid as I tried to get to Lily to say our final goodbye until Christmas.
WHAT THE HELL! Her and her family just disappeared through a wall. My brain is 100% frazzled and has gone into shut down mode.
Cautiously, I approached the pillar of bricks in between platform 9 and 10. I put my hand out; touched the wall. JesusMaryJoseph, it moved! Ok, this is not normal. Maybe it’s just a dream. Come on Astra, wake up.
So, there I was, in the middle of Kings Cross Station, pinching my arm as hard as was humanly possible.
“Excuse me.” A slightly annoyed, male voice came from behind me, “do you mind going through?”
The man had platinum, blonde hair and stormy, silver eyes. He looked like me a bit really but to be honest, I was too shocked by the rippling wall to realise the uncanny resemblance between us.
“Is this your first year?” A young boy who looked a few years older than me asked.
“Um...yeah.” I replied.
“Just step through, it won’t hurt, I promise. I’m Scorpius by the way.” The boy smiled at me reassuringly, gesturing towards the wall.
I gulped then said, “Ok...” Deep breathes, Astra, deeeeeeep breathes.
I took a step forwards. My foot slipped easily through the red and brown brickwork. With a final huff of breath, I plunged through the wall and onto a bustling platform.
The sign that hung above the concrete ground told me that it was platform 9 ¾. I never knew this platform even existed. I glanced back at the wall I had come through to see Scorpius and an array of other people coming through.
Where the frig was I? How was I meant to get back to Mum?
One hurdle at a time, Astra. My best choice at this moment in time would be to stay on the platform until it cleared a little, and then find someone who could help. As long as I didn’t get on the ruby train in front of me, which I had no idea where it went, I’d be fine. Fat chance. I was Astra De Angelis for Christ’s sake, since when did my life ever go smoothly.
The seconds hand ticked around on a black and ivory clock that hung from a metal bar above everyone’s heads.
“All aboard!” Someone shouted and a surge of people flooded towards the carriages. With luck on my side, I managed to stay put in my position on the platform...I wish. A bunch of burly, older-looking lads charged towards me and took me along with them onto one of the carriages.
I flew head first, into the train and got up just as the doors closed and the train set off.
I watched as a parent waved to their kids as they left to go to God knows where. I was defeated.
I slumped against the train door and sat there. I bet, you’re thinking now ‘Come on Astra, get your arse into gear and do something!’ but, y’know what, I can’t do anything. I just didn’t have the energy to.
For what seemed like hours, I sat there, in that exact same position of my legs being tucked up to my chest with my arms wrapped around them in a protective embrace.
I hated feeling this way, defeated and lonely I mean. I suppose that sitting here moping and being the sulk-meister wasn’t going to help anything. Maybe sitting and reviewing everything might help. It’s time for the two-sided self conversation.
‘Ok, Astra,’ the first internal voice began ‘why did you get onto this stupid train in the first place?’
I thought; then came up with the response of ‘I was shoved by burly boys from the platform. They were too strong so ended up dragging me on with them.’
‘Ok, next question: why did you get on the platform?’
‘Urmmmm...I saw Lily!’ Realisation hit me like an underground train ‘Thank you internal psychoanalyst!’
All I had to do was search the train for Lily. Surely if she came onto the platform, she would be on the train, right? If not, I could always try and find that Scorpius lad who had helped me earlier. He seemed nice enough and would probably help me out.
Ok, come on Astra, you can do this thing!
Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive began playing through my head.
With a new found confidence boosting my mood, I launched myself up to the centre of the carriage...just as someone walked in.
Good timing there Astra.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry. I’m such a clumsy clots...” I trailed off as recognition passed over the guy’s face.
“Astra?” Well at least I’d found someone I knew.
“Hi, James.” I gave him a wave and a watery smile.
“What the...” His face was etched in a look of shock. He even pinched his arm, blinked multiple times, and then looked the other way, having to do a double take.
“How the...what the...Merlin, when...” This was the first time that James had ever been rendered speechless; I mean that literally.
He shook his head, clearing his head of all the confusion he was clearly going through, then grabbed my wrist and dragged me through the carriage to the only empty compartment.
“Astra, how the hell did you get on this train? How did you get on the platform?”
“Well,” I began as I told him all about seeing Lily and discovering the platform and getting shoved on the train by the burly boys.
“Shit.” He cursed. Well, that made me feel wanted. “What am I gunna do, she’s not meant to be here, how could a muggle find the Hogwarts Express?” James muttered to himself as he paced in the small space.
“’She’ is sitting right here, James, and what the hell is Hogwarts?” This is the moment in time where I sit there thinking over what I’ve just said thinking ‘was that a really stupid question?’
“Hogwarts is a school, Astra, the one that me, Al and Lily go to.”
“How come Lily never mentioned this school before? What is it like some top secret training camp for...spies or whatever?” I joked, laughing a little. Ok...awkward. He just stood there, looking at me as if I’d hit the nail on the head.
“Wait, you’ve – you’ve got to be kidding me.” His serious expression said otherwise.
“Nope.” He replied, “You’ve kind of got the jist of it.”
“So you’re spies!” That’s pretty cool actually. My best friend and her family are spies. Ha, never thought I’d be thinking that.
“No, no.” Damn, thanks for squashing my dream of having a spy as a friend, “We’re not spies, we’re...eurgh! This is so hard to explain without telling you!” He started tugging at his hair in frustration.
“Now, now, James, don’t get your knickers in a twist. Why can’t you tell me?”
“I just can’t, Astra. It’d get me in deep, deep trouble with...eurgh! I can’t even tell you that without giving it all away!” He huffed; then sharply said “I’m going to get Lily.”
And with that, he left me on my own on the train to mentalville. I’m seriously starting to think that this school called ‘Hogwarts’ is going to be a place where they send the mentally ill. James has really started to worry me; he never gets that wound up, even that time when me and Lily destroyed his beloved stick.
Speaking of that time, why the hell does he have that random stick that he loves so much? It’s just plain weird. I’m beginning to think that I was right and this is a train to a mental asylum.
I sighed and just stared out of the window, wondering where the hell I was. Trees and fields whizzed past, not a sign or station to indicate my whereabouts at all.
Rain began to fall and spatter the pane of glass between me and the countryside. It seemed hours since I’d been on that platform, seen my Mum, been in a place where I knew.
A stampede of older lads hurtled down the corridor, snickering among each other. It was obvious they’d done something but what, I wasn’t sure. Cautiously, I poked my head out of my compartment, trying to find the crime scene that I was sure to find.
To my surprise, I saw Albus, Lily’s brother, standing there, an expression of shock evident in his evergreen eyes.
“Astra?” His mouth fell open.
“Hey, Al, I’m guessing James hasn’t told you I’m here then?” I said, trying to act as nonchalant as possible. He just stood there like the gorm he is, catching metaphorical flies in his gaping mouth.
“How the...what the-“
“Not this again,” I sighed, “I’ve already had the whole ‘what the hell’ conversation with your brother and the only thing I’ve found out is we’re heading to a school called Hogwarts. Can you give me any more information?”
Wow, Al, you’re an amazing help just standing there doing absolutely nothing.
Calm, Astra, calm.
“I’ll take that as a no then.” I snapped, trying to contain my frustration.
“Astra...” Al seemed to be having a little internal war inside as his conflicting emotions played across his face like a movie for me to watch. “Astra,” he began again, “I can’t tell you much more than you already know. Hogwarts is in Scotland and is a school for...certain people. It’s an exclusive place and if anyone finds out you’re here...well, I don’t know what could happen to you.”
Thanks for the vote of confidence over there, Al. I put my hand to my forehead and said “Al, this just doesn’t make any sense. I get your going to school and all but why can’t anyone know I’m here? It’s not as if they’re going to kill me or anything...are they?” I had no idea anymore; I was half expecting him to say that they would kill me.
He let out an unnatural laugh hat sounded rather forced, then replied “No, they won’t kill you but the professors will go berserk. What we’re going to have to do is going to be rather risky but it might just work...” Al began tapping his chin thoughtfully as he concocted his plan.
Lily and James came bursting into the carriage seconds later, clearly out of breath from rushing around the train.
“Hey Lil” I said, putting on a smile.
“Astra!” Lily ran up to me and dragged me into the compartment me and James had been in earlier.
“Nice to see you too Lil.” I muttered.
“Astra, no one can know you’re on this train except the three of us, ok?”
I nodded, feeling like a kid being told to stay put by their parents.
“Ok, I have a plan.” Al announced confidently.
Silence fell over the four of us, the tension becoming too much to bear.
“Well then,” James prompted, “what is it?”
“This is what we’re going to have to do...”
A/N: Thanks for reading all! Hope you have enjoyed this chapter and want to read more (but if you don't...that's ok too...I might just be a little sad about it :'() Anywho, this is NOT a muggle goes to Hogwarts story (despite what the title hints). The reasons behind this rather huge plotline shall be revealed as the story goes on (although you EXTREMELY observant people may be able to take a guess).
Also, if you're looking for something else to read, you can check out my best friend Half_Empty's stuff!!! She's pretty amazing (but I'm a little bias) so go check out her page. She's on my favourite authors list so just go through there if you want.
Reviews would be much appreciated as I'm still awaiting that all important first...*nudge nudge wink wink*.
Thank you. Muchas Gracias.
Disclaimer: As per usual, i don't own anything to do with Hogwarts and Harry Potter. All I own is the plot and our lovely friend Astra. Oh, and also Drake and Leo (but you'll meet them in a bit :P)
“Are we all clear?” Al asked
“Good. James, you know what to do.”
James shot Al a thumb up and left the compartment with a wink. The door clicked as James went walking off to find the unfortunate first year that would come victim to our plot.
“I hope this works, Astra.” Lily began, “I don’t even want to think what they’d do to you if they found out you weren’t a-“
“Lily! Stop right there! You were about to tell Astra that we’re...y’know...” Al trailed off at the end, his eyes pleading with his sister to understand as her ran his hand through his dishevelled, chestnut hair.
“’Y’know’?” retorted Lily, “No Al, to be quite honest I don’t know.” She could be quite the devil when she wanted to be that Lily Potter. And actually, for once in our lives, that trait of hers was coming to good use.
“We can’t tell her Lily! We’d get in shit loads of trouble and you know it.” Al glared at his sister, daring her to come back at him.
“Yes, Albus, I know the trouble we could get in, but she’s going to find out soon enough, isn’t she?”
“And ‘she’ is sitting right here thank you very much.” I said, crossing my arms over my chest as I flopped into the back of my seat.
“Not yet Lily though, just wait until James gets back.” Al compromised, knowing he’d lost to his younger sibling.
A smug smile of victory spread across Lily’s face, as she recognised the battle she’s won against her brother.
I stared out the window as our booth fell into a tense silence.
“What is that?” I exclaimed, eyes bugging out of my head as I saw the majestic castle a few miles away. As night began to fall, it was bathed in an orange glow, causing a breathtaking shadow to frame the grounds of the medieval structure. Towers spiralled up from its grounds, looking like guards that protected the palace from any oncoming attacks. The sheer size and beauty of the place was enough to take anyone’s breath away.
“Oh, that.” Al said, sounding matter of fact, “That’s Hogwarts.”
“It’s gorgeous.” I whispered dreamily, my mouth hanging open with the wonder that was before my eyes. If only I’d had my camera with me, sigh, I would’ve been able to take some gorgeous photos.
“Aha!” I cried, as I pulled out my phone from my pocket.
“What’re you ‘aha’-ing about?” Lily asked, seeming bored and uninterested in my little epiphany.
“Doesn’t matter.” I mumbled, acting like a naughty school child as I scuffed my foot against the worn, dark blue carpet.
I unlocked my phone and snapped a few photos, but they didn’t turn out great with a window being between the view and all.
The silence continued and, even though I didn’t believe it were possible, became even more flaming awkward and tense.
“For fucks sake, when is James going to get back.” Al muttered to himself as he continued his rant on how he didn’t want to be here helping out his sisters, and I quote, ‘stupid, little friend’.
Well, thanks a bunch, Al, nice to know you think so highly of me.
It was that moment that James came back, a proud smile plastered on his face.
“I got it.” he said with a grin.
“Hallelujah.” Al replied sarcastically.
“Aw, come on Mr Grumpy Shit, were doing this to help Astra, you’re ickle sister’s bestest buddy, at least smile about it.” James pinched Al’s cheeks like he was a two year old kid. I’ve got to admit, it was quite funny.
“Fuck off you twat.” Al slapped James’ hands away getting in a huff.
“Well, someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.” James rolled his eyes, and then raised his eyebrows at me and Lily as if asking ‘what’s his problem?’ We both replied with an honest shrug.
“Crap.” I cursed as the train came to a sudden halt.
I peered out the window to see why we had stopped and saw that we had arrived at the station, which I guessed was for Hogwarts.
Al instantly stood up and stormed off the train with his luggage. James was right, he had got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.
“Astra, if you’re going to fit in, you’ll need this.” James said sternly, holding out a stick, much like the one he cherished.
“Wow, a stick,” I replied sarcastically, “that’ll definitely make me fit in...at the mental ward!”
“I’m serious, Astra, you need this.” James replied.
“Ok, ok, I’ll take the bloody stick!” I gave in, taking the wooden stick from his hand.
“We’ll see you later, James; I’ll take Astra with me to the Great Hall.” Lily said as she began dragging me from the train.
“Ok, good luck.” He smiled and winked then left in the opposite direction to us.
I knew the plan. For me, my only job was to go along with the rest of the ‘first years’, as they were apparently called, and stick with Lily. If we got separated...well, I just hoped it would never come to that, but if we did, I would be in deep, dog shit.
“Astra, we’ve got to go to the boats with the rest of the first years. We’ve got to be in the same boat or else God knows what might happen.” Lily began marching off to the docks just outside the station, where at least a hundred small rowing boats were moored. In each boat, a lantern hung at the stern, illuminating the otherwise pitch, black night.
In the distance, the castle that I’d seem earlier sat atop a hill, looking as majestic as earlier. To the right, further down the hill, a little village sat, the lights from the houses and shops emblazoning the night with golden-yellow rays. The view seemed so familiar, yet I was sure I’d never seen it before. It was just a little niggling at the back of my head, like someone rattling a door that held the memory but it was locked.
That was going to annoy me all night.
“Come on!” Lily yelled, jumping eagerly into one of the boats.
A smile spread across my face as I followed Lily into the boat, sitting on one of the cushioned benches.
Whispers flew around us like fireflies, as people stared up in wonder at the castle and began making friends with the people they would go to school with. I heard talk of wands and magic but decided to dismiss it as one of those books that people are so obsessed with about that wizard boy who saved the world from an evil sorcerer guy and his minions.
Another whisper that I was also intrigued by was that ‘the infamous Lily Potter was over there with that blonde girl.’ I never knew there was another Lily Potter. The Lily Potter that was sitting across from me was certainly not famous, I’m sure I would’ve known if she was, seeming as she’s my best friend and all.
“Who are they talking about?” I asked Lily, gesturing to the whispering bunch behind us that were pointing in our direction.
“I don’t know.” Lily answered nervously. Ok, she was hiding something from me.
“Well,” I began, “I just heard them mention your name and that you were famous. Unless there are any other Lily Potter’s around here...”
“Nope, I don’t think there are any others.” She then leant into me and whispered, “I’ll explain it all later.”
“You better had do!”
This was really frustrating not knowing where the hell I was or what I was meant to do. I sighed as the boat began to automatically move by itself.
It seemed that the whisperers had boarded their own boats and were slowly moving in the same direction as us.
Cue awkward silence...and it continues...and-
“Hey, I’m Drake, you must be Lily Potter.” A guy said from the boat next to us. He had short brown hair and diamond-like blue eyes that reflected the light back to us. He showed his dimples to us as he smiled at us.
“Yes, I am.” Lily replied confidently.
“And who’s your friend?” Drake asked.
“Hi, I’m Astra.” I smiled shyly and waved my hand a little.
He flipped me off. With a little wave of his hand, he just dismissed me like some kind of slave or lower being. Oh, if he thought he’d get away with that lightly, he was dead wrong.
“So, Lily, what house do you want to be sorted int-SHIT!” Ha! That served the prick right.
I just shoved the dick into the probably, freezing cold lake.
“That’s what you get for flipping off Astra De Angelis you prick!” I yelled and held my hand up to Lily for a high five. She just stared at me in shock for a moment. Then her face broke out into a smile and she slapped my hand and began laughing at the now shivering idiot that I’d shoved into the water. His mate sat there laughing at him as well, obviously finding it hilarious.
“With girls like that in our year I might just survive Hogwarts.” Drake’s mate murmured with a smile stretched out on his face.
“Do you want to be next?” I taunted, “Because that can be arranged.” I began to stretch out to push him in as well.
“No! No!” He panicked, waving his hands frantically, “I was just admiring your...tactics.”
“So, who are you?” I asked bluntly.
“Leoardo McCormack but you can call me Leo.”
“Erm, where’s Drake gone?” Lily asked looking behind us to see where Drake had gone.
“No i-dea.” I replied, leaning back in the boat, as relaxed as could be.
It was then that I saw Leo snickering and looking behind me, looking at Lily, then sweeping his golden-grass eyes over to the water behind me.
“What?” I asked confused, wondering what the hell was that interesting behind me in the murky black waters. I turned as Lily joined in with Leo’s giggles to see a hand reach out and drag me into the depths.
“You little fucker!” I screamed as everyone around me erupted into hysterics.
I whirled in the water to find the culprit right in front of me. It was to be expected that he would get payback but I was shocked that he had the balls to do it.
“And that’s what you get for shoving Drake Kingsley into the Black lake bitch.”
The boats parted behind us to form an aisle, through which one of the teacher’s boats came through.
“What’s happening here?” a Scottish female voice asked.
When I saw the woman, she seemed to have an air of elegance about her, with her grey hair neatly arranged in a tight bun on the back of her head; a pair of glasses perched on her slim nose.
She whisked one of them sticks out of her robes and pointed it at me and Drake. She flicked the stick and me and Drake instantly rose out of the water and into her boat. With another flick, we were instantly dry.
My mouth dropped open in shock, wondering how she’d done all that with one stick and a few flicks.
“Now, who do we have here?” She asked, looking at us down her nose.
“Drake Kingsley, Professor.” Drake looked shit-scared of this woman so I’m guessing I should be nervous too.
“And...” she glared, getting impatient.
“Ermmmm...” I looked to Lily for a vote of confidence. She widened her eyes telling me to go on and tell her. “Astra, Miss, Astra De Angelis.”
“Well, Mr Kingsley and Miss De Angelis, I believe you will be making the rest of this trip in my boat so say good bye to Miss Potter and your friends.”
My eyes widened as I pleaded with Lily to do something but she shook her head and gestured subtly to the castle.
I slumped back into the boat, admitting defeat as I pondered over the day’s events and the loophole in our little plan to sneak me into Hogwarts undetected.
The fleet of boats continued over the lake, gliding over the smooth, glass-like surface, in a perfect triangular formation, advancing slowly towards the castle. Gentle gusts of wind caused the lanterns to swing like a pendulum for a few minutes at a time, the only distraction on this little boat trip disaster.
A/N - Thanks for all you guys that have read this so far :) I hope your enjoying it so far and might just want to know more. I'm sorry that not much plot has come out but hopefully soon maybe there might be a bit more on there :) Stick with me here please and I'll try and get to the good stuff no later than chapter 5...pinky swear!
If you want to deign this little chappie with a few loving or helpful words I'm sure it would appreciate it. Don't be afraid to put 'constructive criticisms' in also I'm always extremely happy (aka would hit the ceiling and jump off the walls) to know what you think, both positive and negative.
Keep writing guys ;)
Chapter 4: And I thought it wouldn’t get any weirder...
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Disclaimer: As per usual, only Astra, Drake, Leo and the plot belong to moi ;)
As soon as we docked by the castle, the woman escorted me and Drake towards, what seemed to be, a side entrance. I looked back once again to see Lily giving me a thumbs up and not so subtly pointing towards a giant hall that all the students were flooding into.
I turned back to face forward, then glanced sideways at Drake. He was nervously chewing on the inside of his cheek by the looks of things. I had no idea who the hell this woman was but she carried herself with an air of dignity and pride.
Minutes passed as we were literally herded through numerous corridors in this labyrinth of a place, the odd group of students already lounging against the walls.
“In here please.” The woman finally said, opening up an arched wooden door that lead to a rather spacious office.
I followed Drake into the pristine office. Not a paper was out of place, not a spot of dust marred the desk.
She gestured to two cushioned chairs that sat on the other side of her desk. She took her seat, never taking her piercing gaze off me and Drake, as if we would escape if she even wavered for a second. I’m not that fast woman, stop being so paranoid.
“So, Mr Kingsley; Miss De Angelis,” she began, “do you know who I am?”
Ok, I’ve only been at this school for, what, about half an hour tops, and she already expects me to know who she is. This is one weird school. Maybe they think we’re psychic or something.
“Yes, Professor.” Drake said, dropping his head to stare at his sopping wet shoes guiltily.
“And you Miss De Angelis, do you know who I am?” she queried, fixing her glare on me. It took all of my willpower not to squirm and shrink down into my chair.
“Ummm...no?” was that the right answer, was this some kind of test? Please don’t kill me lady, I’m too young to die!
“Really?” she was scaring me now, “Well, I think you should know, so I’m going to tell you. I am Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts.”
I sat there in silence, a sea of questions coming in tidal waves in my head, looking at the professor, thinking of ways to find out the answers to my questions without giving away my situation in any way.
I came up with nothing. The way she had said those words with such confidence clearly showed that a Gryffindor was a commonplace thing in the halls of Hogwarts.
We sat that in an awkward silence for several minutes, Professor McGonagall’s icy stare seeming to glare right into the depths of my soul. And you think I’m joking. Well, I’m not actually, it feels like she just saw everything she needed to know by the look on her face...but what that something was, I had no idea.
“Mr Kingsley, you are free to go and be sorted in the Great Hall. I expect you to arrive there promptly and behave.” Drake simultaneously left his seat and dashed out the door without as much as a backward glance. Well, I thought I’d made a friend here in this wacky school but clearly I was wrong.
“As for you, Miss De Angelis, I will personally escort you to the Great Hall to the Sorting Ceremony and meal.”
What?! Why did Drake get off easy whilst I have to be almost literally put on flaming probation or something?
“Follow me, please.” The Professor said primly, rising gracefully from her chair and sweeping towards the door to the corridor.
We returned to the maze of corridors, meandering towards our destination. I stared down at my feet as I trailed after Professor McGonagall, her midnight robes fluttering behind her in the slight breeze that blew through the ancient hallways.
“Here we are.” She announced, as she entered the hall with an elegance that could only be obtained from doing that exact entry thousands of times.
Ok, here we go Astra.
I personally didn’t know what to expect. Well, with it being called the Great Hall I expected it to be quite grand and fancy but what lay before my eyes and what resided in my imagination were two completely different visuals.
Where I envisioned marble floors, I saw antique, grey stone. Where I pictured large round tables with lacy table cloths, I saw four, long aisles of wood, each bordered by two squat benches on either side.
Oh, and also, my weirdest thing of the day list now has a new number one. Floating candles. Yes, I repeat, floating candles, that bobbed up and down in their millions like a weight on the end of a fishing rod. I bet you think I’m kidding. Well, I’m not.
As I stood there, right in the middle of the entry way, all the students sat there gawking at me, looking at me like I was the newest exhibit in the zoo. Speaking of zoos, I’m sure they had one here. There were so many cats and owls around this place, it was ridiculous. And don’t bother to ask me ‘why the frickin’ chicken are there that many cats and owls around this place?’ because I have no bloody idea. Maybe Professor McGonagall will know or one of the starers. There are plenty of them, just take your pick of who to ask.
Any who, back to the hall of staring people...
If you didn’t know already, I hate being the centre of attention. It makes me want to go hide in a corner and shove my jacket in front of my face. At this moment, none of this was possible as; a) I didn’t have a jacket on (just the stupid lime polo shirt) and b) Professor McGonagall was watching me like a hawk, so I couldn’t exactly run away. So, I tried to make myself normal by giving a half-hearted wave to the population. In return, I gained a few warm smiles and waves and a wink from James Potter, who was sitting at one of the tables, now in what I assumed was the school uniform with his red and gold tie wearing friends.
“Ok, Miss De Angelis, I want you to stand here and listen to Professor Longbottom, who is going to explain and lead the Sorting Ceremony tonight. I believe you’ll be quite close to the front so try and make your way forward.” Professor McGonagall instructed, pushing me forward into the crowd of eleven year-olds.
I snaked my way through the gaps as I spotted a head of long, red hair in the distance. I eventually reached it, tapping Lily on the shoulder to get her attention.
I flicked my head around to see if Professor McGonagall had seen who I was standing with, but she was too busy gossiping with another teacher. Hallelujah.
“Astra!” Lily cried hugging me a little too tightly.
“It’s ok, Lil, it’s ok. I just had to sit in Professor McGonagall’s office for a bit with Drake and then she told me to come here.” I said
“Ok.” Lily said, then ducked towards my ear to whisper, “It was weird.” Oh, as if I could do with any more of that, “My brothers went to char... sneak your name onto the list but it was already on there. Strange, huh?”
“Yeah...” I mumbled going off into my head to wonder how the hell that’d happened. I hadn’t even enrolled at this school! How did they know I would come here? I couldn’t take any more strange, weird or any other variation of the words.
“Ok, first-years.” Professor Longbottom called, “Today is your first time in Hogwarts and therefore we must sort you into a house. You could be a Ravenclaw; witty, individual and full of wisdom. Or maybe a Hufflepuff; hard working, loyal and patient. Possibly Slytherin;” An echo of boos came from James’ table, followed by Professor Longbottom clearing his throat to silence the rowdy lot, “cunning, resourceful and ambitious. Or maybe” the professor continued, a smile creeping onto his face, “a Gryffindor, courageous, daring and chivalrous, braver than the rest and willing to risk everything.”
“Bias.” A kid coughed from a table filled with students that wore green and silver ties.
Professor McGonagall sent a scorching glare towards the student, causing all of James’ friends to burst out laughing.
Professor Longbottom raised his voice as he said “Let the sorting begin!”
The whole hall fell into silence as a hat was taken from a box at the front. Professor Longbottom took a list from his pocket and unrolled the scroll to full length.
A rickety old stool was placed at the front in the centre, so all could see the poor person that had to sit there.
“First up, Harriet Anderson.” A slim girl walked forward from the back and primly sat on the unstable chair. The hat was placed upon her head. The hall filled with expectation, the different tables staring at that one girl.
“Hmmmm...” a voice said, clearly deep in thought. I looked around, trying to find who had spoken. Lily stood next to me, tense and seemingly nervous about the ‘sorting’ or whatever the professor had called it.
“Harriet Anderson...” there it was again, that voice, “you seem to be a clever young one...hmmm...”
I stared at the front and realization hit me. IT WAS THE MOTHERFUCKING HAT!!!! WHAT THE HELL???!!! SINCE WHEN DO HATS TALK!!!
This couldn’t get any weirder. If it does, I’m afraid I might die. Tell my Mother I don’t really love her and my Father that I wished I knew who he was.
“But,” the hat continued, “you seem to use that intelligence of yours for self-preservation. So for that reason, I feel obliged to say this. SLYTHERIN!”
Cheers erupted from the green table, whilst boos echoed over from the red table (I decided to give them colour names as the different tables wore different coloured ties. It made sense to me instead of giving a lengthy explanation each time).
The sorting continued through the A’s, B’s and C’s. I stood there with Lily in the little cluster of eleven year-olds, crossing my fingers that my name would be on the list. If it wasn’t, God knows what would happen. Would they chuck me out? Oh God, this was the worst thing ever to happen to me.
A lump the size of a golf ball had wedged itself in my throat; a sick feeling had harboured in my stomach.
The hat continued to scream three different words: Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. All made no sense to me but clearly meant a great deal to all the tables. Except the red table that is. They all sat there; looking rather miffed that no one had joined them on their table.
Professor Longbottom glanced at his scroll, and announced that we were to start on the D’s. Here we go moment of truth. I warily glanced over to James and Al at the red table to see them both running their hands through their hair in identical nervous habit. It would have been funny if I hadn’t been so God damn scared!
“Harry Den...” Professor Longbottom began. He stopped. Shit my life was over.
“Minerva, you’d better take a look at this.” The professor said, looking shocked at something on his scroll. He pointed to the list and began whispering frantically, his eyes wide with disbelief.
“Astra De Angelis.” Professor McGonagall called, searching the crowd for me.
I stepped out and walked slowly to where they were standing.
“Yes, Professor?” I asked.
“Please sit on the stool.” She ordered her eyes like steel, razor sharp and strong.
I followed her command and sat on the stool. The worn, old hat was perched on my head. It was the moment of truth. Possibly the time when everyone would find out about my intrusion.
Here we go, I thought, bracing myself for what the hat would say.
“Another lot of Malfoy blood...how interesting...I never knew Draco had another.” What was this hat on? Who was Draco? Argh! Too many questions created a tidal wave of confusion that swept through my head.
The teachers stood there shocked, their jaws almost touching the floor. James and Al seemed to have similar expressions plastered on their faces as well.
“However,” the hat continued, “you, my girl, seem to have a lot of courage in there. Well, what you’ve been through today can definitely consolidate my decision. GRYFFINDOR!”
A cheer erupted from the red table for the first time that night. The screams of students echoed around the hall as I walked over to the red table and sat at the end of the bench.
The hat continued to put people in one of the four categories, shouting the names for all to hear. Several names I didn’t know passed by, each being sent to one of the tables.
I still sat alone, waiting for another ‘Gryffindor’ to be yelled but still sat there awkwardly with all the older ones.
I sat there picking my nails (yeah, old habits die hard), only hearing a name, a house and a cheer.
Well, this should be good. In a way, I was hoping that Drake was in my house but in others, I was praying he would be placed elsewhere. He seemed to be a bit of an idiot (to put it nicely) but I’m sure that we could be friends of some kind.
The hat spoke for a bit, taking about how bold Drake was and how he loved to take risks. It then went on to blabber on about his cunning and ambition. I swear the hat went on for about twenty minutes, saying one thing, and then contradicting it with another.
“Ok, after much contemplation, I believe I have come to a conclusion.” The hat announced, “Drake Kingsley, you are now a...” bloody hell this hat loved to create tension and keep us on our toes, “GRYFFINDOR!”
I cheered along with the rest of the table, high fiving Drake as he came to the table. I finally had a first year friend that I could talk to, hallelujah.
“Leonardo McCormack” was the next name I recognised. Drake sat on the edge of his seat, clearly hoping that Leo would be put with the two of us in Gryffindor.
“Come on, Leo.” Drake muttered under his breath, his fingers crossed tightly.
“GRYFFINDOR!” the hat cried for the third time that night.
“Yeah!” Drake yelled as he went up to Leo and tackled him in some kind of weird boy greeting thing.
Boys are strange and have no brains; that is the conclusion I have come to.
“Woooooo!” her brothers cheered from down the table standing up and beaming at their little sister. Lily’s face bloomed a brilliant, fire engine red and ducked her head, obviously embarrassed by the plebs at the Gryffindor table.
“That’s enough Potters.” McGonagall scolded them, giving them each one of her death glares.
The rest of the sorting was pretty boring, the final twenty or so people were scattered about the remaining places on the tables.
Our table was joined by, Lily’s cousin, Hugo Weasley, a short boy with blazing ginger hair. Two other girls also joined our table: Sabrina Vane and Lena Rockingham.
The two girls were polar opposites. Sabrina had long, blonde locks that flew in perfect ringlets down her back and sapphire blue eyes that seemed to look right through you. She was the kind of girl that all the girls hated but all the boys loved.
Lena, on the other hand, had a nest of bushy hair that frizzed out around her face, which was covered by a pair of round, lilac glasses. Her chocolate brown eyes could barely be seen through her out of control full fringe and her nose was already buried in a book.
Chatter buzzed around the hall as students talked amongst their friends; both new and old.
“Hogwarts,” a male voice boomed through the hall, and silence sank through the room “Welcome back.” Everyone’s stares were directed at the plump man that stood in front of us all. His hair was unruly and black and a beard covered his chin. The only way I could do this man justice would be to call him Santa’s black-haired twin. He just had that kind of look going on, if you know what I mean.
He continued with a speech that I zoned out of after the first few seconds. I sat there staring into space, waiting to be told what to do or where to go to start lessons or whatever; this was a school after all.
“Let the feast begin!” He shouted, which I guess was the end of his little speech.
I looked around and couldn’t see any food anywhere.
“Hey, where’s the...” I trailed off my whisper to Lily as mounds of food just...appeared in front of us.
I whipped around back to the front to see if the teachers had noticed the magical appearance of the banquet, but they all just sat there smiling and tucking into a meal of their own.
“You ok, Astra?” Lily whispered, nudging me in the arm.
“Where the hell did all this food come from?!” I exclaimed, gaining a few weird looks off other students.
Lily sighed “I’ll tell you later when we get to the dorms. I promise.”
She rolled her eyes “Pinky promise.” And with that we linked pinkies.
Now that I know I’m going to find out what’s going the hell on in this bizarre place, I could tuck into the feast. What? I couldn’t let all this food go to waste now, could I?
“Could someone pass me a roll, please?” I asked down the table, making an extra effort to be polite.
“Why don’t you just accio it?” Leo asked.
“Erm...” I glanced at Lily, begging for help, hoping she knew what the hell he meant.
Bum. She was looking in the other direction, chatting to Drake.
Why was my life so...eurgh!?
“Just get out your wand,” he said in a patronising tone as he took out his stick thing.
Just for future reference, no one, and I mean no one, talks to me like I’m a little kid. So, being the immature little madam I am, I stepped up to the metaphorical plate and promised myself that whatever Leo told me to do, I’d do it ten times better.
I pulled out my stick thing that James had given me earlier and held it just like he did.
“Move it like so,” he continued, wafting the stick around a bit, “and say ‘accio, roll’” Just then one of the rolls literally flew out of the basket and into Leo’s waiting hand.
Hmmm...special effects...two could play at that game.
I stared at the air for a bit, trying to spot any strings or wires dangling from the ceiling. Nothing.
“Ok then.” I said. It’s not as if I could look any more stupid, I’d already fallen into a lake today in front of the whole of my year, what could be worse?
“Accio roll.” I swished my stick in an identical pattern to his and waited.
“No, no, no, a bit more flick on the end.” Leo began to smirk, thinking he had won. Don’t speak to soon.
“Accio roll.” I said again flicking my stick just that little bit more on the end.
I swear my eyes must’ve looked like saucers at that moment in time as, sure enough, the roll came flying down the table and straight into my hand.
What. The. Hell. Just. Happened.
The roll fell to the floor as I stared in shock, wonder and utter confusion at the bread.
“Well done!” Leo praised sarcastically, “Do you want a gold star?”
“Piss off.” I mumbled, still recovering from the shock.
News flash; I was wrong, dead wrong; things had just gotten a hell of a lot weirder. In that moment, I was sure; things were just going to get stranger and stranger each day I spent in this place.
“Astra,” Lily hissed from next to me, “what the hell did you just do?!”
“I don’t know!” I whisper-shouted, seeing her hazel eyes widen, just as mine had before.
Oh shizzle, what had I done?
“I’m going to talk to James and Al. Stay here and don’t do anything with that wand.”
“What wand?” I pleaded with her, confusion taking over.
“The stick.” Lily pointed at the twig that still stayed in my white-knuckled fist.
Oh, so that’s how I did that.
A/N Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me this far :D Especially DracoLove4 who is reviewer numero dos, you made my day :D and you could too (cue quiz show style voice) all you need to do is type a little bit in that little box down there and submit it, it's easy peazy lemon squeazy. For all you non-Brits out there who might not understand a word I just said, please review, it's easy and will make me a happy person :D
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 ;)