Chapter 1 : September Morning
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Black birds flew across the dark desert.
It was very cold; I couldn’t feel my fingers or my face and my toes were buried in the black sand. I didn’t know how I got there, but strangely I didn’t care.
The desert, one of the most lifeless places on earth, is also one of the most beautiful.
I could see a tree far a way, a dead tree, which the birds started flying around. They were flying so close to one another that they looked like a big black shadow; soon they started melting together, creating a black smoke. A young man walked through it, the black smoke swirling around him, transforming itself into a cape. I had never seen him before, but for some strange reason, he felt familiar. Before I knew it, his face was so close to mine our lips almost met. Long black hair covered his right eye; he had a large nose and perfect lips. His black eye was drawing me.
“We’ll be together soon.”
The alarm woke me up at 9 am. I somehow managed to turn it off and went back to sleep.
“Not again!” I thought. During the summer, I’d had the same dream a few times. Something always woke me up when we were about to kiss, but this time it had been different. This was the first time he talked to me; he had a hypnotizing voice, but at the same time charming.
“Ariel!” That was my mother yelling from downstairs. “Are you up yet?”
“Yes mum!” I managed to mumble from between the sheets. She knew I wasn’t up; I’ve never been a morning person. I rolled a bit in my bed, enjoying it for the last time until Christmas break.
That day I was going back to Hogwarts to attend my last year. It seemed like only yesterday when I was buying my first books and robes in Diagon Alley. I also remember every detail of my first day, the first time I rode the Hogwarts express, the first time I ate in the Great Hall, how I got sorted into Gryffindor…
“Ariel!” There she went again. “You’re going to miss the train!” Seven years with the same routine every first of September and I’ve had never missed the train. She was so paranoid sometimes that it drove me mad, but of course her paranoia was also part of the routine.
“Yes, yes. I’m up and walking to the toilet!” I decided to finally get out of bed before she stormed into my room and forced me to.
I looked at myself in the toilette’s mirror, tall, skinny, dirty blond hair and green eyes. Most of my friends describe me as very cute and I’ve heard a couple of, “You’re a real catch!”
Looking at myself made me think: If this was the case then why haven’t I found a boyfriend yet? Was it because of my obsession with Christian, the captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, that I couldn’t open up enough to a relationship? Was it because I’m holding to the tiniest chance that he might turn out to be gay? Was I ever going to get realistic? Sometimes I lost myself in my thoughts. Hogwarts is not the best place for a gay man to find a boyfriend. That was the only comforting thought that I could come up with. I wished the boy from my dreams was real.
After taking a shower, I finished packing the rest of my things into the trunk and then I faced the everyday question: What should I wear? After brainstorming a little I settled for a pair of jeans, a
T-shirt and my trusty leather boots.
I went down and saw my mum’s face for the first time that morning. I gave her a kiss and sat down for breakfast. We had the same hair, but hers was long to the shoulders, she was skinny and had very delicate features.
“Finally,” she said, waving her wand. A plate of scrambled eggs and bacon landed in front of me. I love bacon.
“Don’t you think that’s too much cholesterol?” said my father as he walked into the kitchen holding a newspaper. He was a tall man with grey hair, who kept himself fit jogging every morning.
My father is a heart surgeon, which is why he jogs and is so worried about cholesterol.
“Sweetheart.” My mum kissed him. “He’s just seventeen,” she said with a smile.
“It’s never too early to start taking care of yourself,” he said while grabbing a chair and sitting next to me.
“Hi Dad.” I smiled and he patted my head
My mum is a witch and my father a Muggle. They met when my mother had a rather stupid accident with a bicycle and against her wishes was taken to a Muggle hospital. My father was working as an intern and it was love at first sight at the emergency room. How romantic! I grew up with the best from both worlds.
I rushed my breakfast because it was getting late, the train left at 11:00 am and it was almost 10:30. We took the car and drove nonstop to the station. All through the ride, I kept thinking about the dream I had the night before.
“WE’RE GOING TO MISS THE TRAIN!” Vanessa yelled at me as soon as I walked into the platform. Vanessa is a small girl but what she lacked in height she made up with her mouth and she was famous for being loud, chatty and for always saying what was on her mind. Of course her big mouth has gotten her into troubles, quite a few, because sometimes it is just impossible to shut her up! I love her because she doesn’t care what other people think. We’ve been best friends since our second year at Hogwarts when she stood up for me when a couple of Slytherins were threatening me with turning me into a cockroach if I didn’t do their homework.
“Well, is nice to see you too!” I said and gave her a big hug.
“Let’s go!” she grabbed my hand and started pulling me towards the train.
I gave a hug to my parents. My mum was about to cry. Maybe because it was one of the last times I would be riding the Hogwarts Express, the scarlet train looked more beautiful than ever. I was a bit sad.
Nessa (as I called Vanessa) and I started looking for a free compartment where we could sit; we liked to spend our ride to Hogwarts catching up with each other’s summers.
“Excuse me!” said Nessa, rudely pushing some clueless first years.
We finally found an empty compartment and made ourselves comfortable. She had spent must of her summer visiting her dad in Miami and that was all I found out before Ornella interrupted us.
“Is it okay if I sit with you guys?” she asked popping her head through the compartment’s doors, she knew we liked to spend our train travels alone.
“Yes,” Nessa and I said at the same time without any excitement.
“So, have you heard the rumors?” She ignored our tone and took a seat. Her red curls were shaking in enthusiasm with her head.
“What rumors?” jumped Nessa, offended that Ornella had some gossip to spill and she didn’t.
“After twenty-three years the Triwizard Tournament is going to be held again…” Nessa and I held our breaths “…and Hogwarts is going to host!”