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Chapter 3 : Goodbye America
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“Miss, Miss, please wake up.” I heard Ritzy, our house elf shake me awake. I gave him a glare that could’ve stopped time. He backed down obediently. I watched him bow deeply, his long nose hitting my floor boards.
“Hi Ritzy, how are you this fine morning?” I said sarcastically. Ritzy was more than a house elf to me, he was a friend. We’d always make jokes and laugh together. I couldn’t set him free however. When I was younger and had begged my father to do so, I was grounded for a month and forbid me to ever mention it again. My parents treated him like dirt.
“Ritzy good, Ritzy good. How is Miss Belle? Today is a sad day for Ritzy.” Ritzy said, referring to himself in the third person as always. I smiled down at him.
“I’ll miss you too. Now if you don’t mind I have to get ready for my torture- I mean school.” I said. He nodded and retreated back to the kitchens. I got up and stepped into the bathroom.
After the nice refreshing shower, I smelled like lilacs, not dried blood. I brushed my hair several times, up and down, waiting for my dad to tell me to hurry up. But no one did. I then went to my wardrobe to change into something. Did I need to wear something special? How was the weather in England? I decided on my Salemandra Green plaid skirt, a black short sleeved t-shirt, and some black leggings. I put on my regular school shoes and made my way downstairs, my hair swaying from side to side. What if I was late? I picked up speed, heading straight for the informal dining room when BAM! I hit Fizz, our female house elf, straight in the head. We both fell down the stairs.
“Oh my! Are you okay?” I heard an old male voice ask. I looked up to see an old, pudgy, and short man with snow white hair cut evenly across and hazel eyes. I nodded and took his hand as he helped me up.
“Fizz! Go to your room now!” I heard my father yell at Fizz.
“No! It was my fault. Sorry Fizz.” I said fast. My dad made no indication that he had heard me. I sighed as I saw Fizz head straight to her little cot, no doubt waiting to be whipped by father.
“Ms. Ivory, I’m Andrewian Prewett, your guide to England. All your school books for fourth year have been bought for you and are currently in your school trunk which is safely on the Hogwarts Express, courtesy of Hogwarts. I’ll go upstairs, if you don’t mind, and alert the floo network. Say your goodbyes now, Ms. Ivory, and we shall be on our way.” Mr. Prewett said quickly. I stared as he shook hands with both my parents and then he left us standing awkwardly.
“Well-er-bye.”I said, unsure of what to do. My parents have never been the huggy-kissy kind of parents.
“Belle, Mr. Prewett is a pure blood.” My mother said suddenly. I shrugged, so were we.
“What your mother is trying to say is that in England, blood counts. As a pure blood, do not mingle with half breeds or muggle borns. Not all schools are like Salemandra. Flamer Academy for Magical Folk, as you recall, is the only school in the United States that accepts any magical folk whereas Salemandra is strictly pure bloods.” My father said.
“I don’t really care.” I said simply, shrugging again. My parents exchanged a dark look with each other.
“Here is enough money to last you for more than a year. Use it wisely. Don’t annoy Mr. Prewett. Don’t ask many questions. And mind yourself, Belle. We will be writing to you shortly after the first month. Goodbye.” My father rambled on. My eyes started to water as I took in the sight of my mother waving, and both of them just standing there. Without thinking, I flung myself at them crying like a baby. They shook me off, a look of disgust on my father’s face.
“And do learn some valuable manners.” He continued.
I shook my head, wiping the tears away with the back of my hand. Then I carefully made my way to the floo room. Mr. Prewett was standing next to the ancient fireplace, waiting. When I came in, he held up the floo jar. The blue floo powder inside glittered.
“I will go first to show you what to say. Say exactly that and nothing more or less. Okay?” He asked me. I nodded, unable to speak.
“Gringotts Bank, London, England!” He said stepping into the blue flames. In a matter of seconds, he was gone. I thought about not following him and instead just going back to my room and hiding there for the rest of my life. However, I didn’t want my parents to hate me even more.
“Bye.” I whispered to the empty room. I repeated exactly what he told me. Oh, how I hated traveling by floo powder. The journey took six times as much as it should have. But my eyes stayed firmly closed the whole way. After about ten torturous minutes, I made it to what seemed like a goblin-run bank.
“Ah, good there you are Ms. Ivory. Good Good. Now come this way if you please. We will be going to have some breakfast, seeing as how you missed yours.” He said cheerfully. I nodded once more. He led me down a crowded street and into a dingy bar that would have made my mother scream.
“Best food in Diagon Alley, indeed!” Mr. Prewett said. His British accent was chalky, not at all what I expected British accents to sound like. “Well Tom, I’d like some fried eggs and bacon and perhaps some of your fine wine!” Mr. Prewett said to a man that reminded me of a horse. The man smiled and nodded.
“And you Miss?” the man asked me. My stomach already felt full of nervous butterflies, although I was hungry since I hadn’t eaten at all last night.
“Hit me up with a grilled cheese sandwich and some apple juice.” I said. Mr. Prewett and the man named Tom stared at me until I realized how American I sounded.
“Sorry. I mean a grilled cheese sandwich and some apple juice would be kindly appreciated...um...sir.” I said again, feeling my face blush. Both men started laughing and if I had my wand I would have gladly hexed them into frogs. Oh yes, my wand. As soon as Tom left, sniggering, I turned to Mr. Prewett.
“When will I get my wand?” I asked him as politely as I could.
“I almost forgot. Here it is. Ah, 8 inches, Oakwood, with a veela hair. Very valuable indeed.” He said handing me my wand out of his pocket. I smiled mischievously at it, and he must have noticed because he added “remember no magic outside of school!”
“Mr. Prewett, how exactly does Hogwarts run? I mean back at Salemandra, our whole school was only about 200 kids and each grade had its own classes. The classes were very nice, though. My favorite was probably Wand Safety, you know, where we get taught about wands in general. I used to regard that class as a silly course, but one time this kid sat on his wand and it shot through his buttocks so bad, he couldn’t sit down for a while.” I said. When will I learn to stop rambling?
“Well, in Hogwarts its not only purebloods, Ms. Ivory. Each student is sorted into one of four houses, Slytherin for the cunning, Gryffindor for the courageous, Ravenclaw for the wise, and Hufflepuff for the hardworking. Slytherin is headed by Professor Slughorn, Gryffindor by Professor Dumbledore, Ravenclaw by Professor Flitwick, and Hufflepuff by Professor Sprout. Of course, you’ll get all the information when school begins which is in a few hours.” Mr. Prewett said, breathlessly. Man, that guy could sure talk for a person his size.
“Oh. Who’s the headmistress or headmaster?” I asked him curiously. My old headmistress, Restina Gamp was a real physco. She was the one who turned my name into the school council. Ugh, curse her and her family.
“Yes, your headmaster is quite responsible. Professor Armando Dippet is his name. He is most certainly going to help you adjust. Now let’s eat, hurry up, so we’ll have time to get you last minute things before 9. We need to make our way to the Kings Cross Station afterwards.” Mr. Prewett said, starting with his food.
I simply took a sip out of my juice and a bite of my sandwich. Looking around the small bar, I smiled. A gang of goblins were sitting in the corner bargaining. I saw witches gossiping and even muggles getting drunk. I waited till Mr. Prewett finally finished eating, paid Tom, and then we left through the really crowded street. A clock nearby rung 8 in the morning which sent Mr. Prewett running, which was actually quite funny to watch. We stopped in front of a pet store where I bought a kitten named Crumbcakes. She was pure white with the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. She licked my arm while Mr. Prewett and I walked into a robe shop. I bought about 20 new fashionably nice robes and then Mr. Prewett started fussing about how girls spend so much time shopping (how he knows is beyond me). After all the shopping, we bought a new trunk in which I put my new robes in. My school books and supplies were already on the Hogwarts Express. We then stepped into the muggle world, which I had never been allowed to do before. It was fascinating to see how the muggles walked like geese and sneezed so loud. We took a coach to Kings Cross, where I walked through a strange barrier.
“Well, Ms. Ivory this is it. It was very nice meeting you.” Mr. Prewett said, smiling. For some reason just the thought of seeing him for the last time made my throat clench. I nodded, knowing tears were running down my face. This was ridiculous considering I had only just met the guy.
“Bye Mr. Prewett. Thank you for all your help.” I said, also smiling. He lost all dignity when he hugged me. I couldn’t bear it anymore. I waved goodbye to him, grabbed my stuff, and went into the Hogwarts Express. Either I was too late or too early.
I found an empty compartment, ignoring everyone’s stares and whispers. I put my luggage into the compartment overhead and held Crumbcakes close to me, daydreaming about a world where there was no magic and I was just an ordinary muggle. I leaned my head back on the seat letting Crumbcakes fall asleep in my arms. Several more people passed my compartment, laughing with their friends or catching up on the latest gossip from over the summer. Finally, the express began to move as I myself began to feel sorrow for all that was.
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