This beautiful beyond beautiful chapter image was made by the lovely
Ann is Luna Lovegood @ TDA.
It was raining. My first day at a whole new school, and it was raining.
A little odd for autumn, I supposed, though it wasn’t as if I was overly familiar with English weather. It’d been a while since I’d lived here and even longer since I’d properly noticed anything around me.
Still, I was warm and dry inside the car, so I attempted to look at this in best possible light. Yes, I thought, the best possible light. Sure, it was raining, but it was a fresh start, a fresh future. The past was being washed away. I smiled wryly here. The past was being washed away.
My arse it was. It’d never be that easy.
The car was slowing down now. It eventually occurred to me that it was because we were now driving in circles around the parking lot. Nerves and cynical thoughts weren’t helping me focus. I peered out the window forcing myself to stay composed.
There were lots of people about, almost too many. I thought of how conspicuously Jasper and I would stand out. Not because of the way we dressed and not because of how we looked, but because of the heavy trunks, owls and trolleys we would be pushing. My heartbeat increased just to think of it. Would he see? Would he be here?
I shook my head. I was being ridiculous, he was long gone and I knew it. Just stay calm Lulah, I told myself. You and Jasper can get through this together.
And as if he had read my mind there was a long nervous sigh from beside me.
It was Jasper of course, not that I had expected anyone else.
I glanced over at him. Despite his nervous tendencies he was the epitome of ease. His body was sprawled out as much as the space of the seat would allow, and he gazed pensively out the window. The only give away was his tense hand clutching the door handle, his knuckles white.
After a moment his eyes, the colour of ice sought out mine. They were still weary from hours of travel. He had spent a large majority of the car trip snoozing up against the cool window, and still had the red mark against his cheek to prove it.
His light skin seemed paler and gaunter under the harsh glare of the sun that streamed through the windows. I wondered if this was the result of being holed up for the past year. He ran a weary hand through his shock of dark hair in one swift movement.
“Are you worrying Lulah?” He asked sternly in his smooth, low voice.
“No.” I replied just as smoothly, but I think a guilty flash from my amber eyes gave me away. He laughed softly, but shortly
“I’ve already spent a whole car ride trying to comfort you. I’m not about to spend a whole train ride too.”
I glared at him but was not mad. I couldn’t be. Not when I relied on him so much.
His words seemed sure, but I knew he too shared my worries about Hogwarts. He may have tried his best to hide it but we were twins and it showed on our faces. It had been on his suggestion that we were now going to Hogwarts, however I knew he too was having just as many second thoughts as I was. I knew that the phrase ‘what if…?’ had been floating through his head just as much as it had been drifting through mine.
We were reversing into a park now. The rain had stopped but little droplets clung to the glass like thousands upon thousands of crudely cut diamonds.
“Tallulah, Jasper, we’re here.” Said a soft but husky voice from the front seat. That was our Uncle Leon. I could see his reflection in the rear view mirror. His wide eyes seemed to see straight through our brave pretence. He smiled gently before opening the door and getting out. Audrey, his wife and our aunt looked at us nervously. Even as she clambered out of the front and into the muck the rain had left behind she barely took her eyes off us. Jasper and I shared a bracing glance before both of us followed suit.
I stepped out, gracefully skipping over a puddle next to my door. I didn’t realize it had been raining long enough to leave puddles, but apparently it had.
There was a cool breeze ruffling my hair, and the air was still damp. I could hear the sound of hundreds of voices. It made me worried.
Once more, I shared a glance with Jasper. I noticed there was steam rising around his feet. He looked a little ruffled but kept walking as if we had noticed nothing.
It was difficult to drag our trunks through the station and there were muggles everywhere. The place was absolutely swarming with them. It had been nothing like this at Olydias, merely a carpet ride through the mountains. I felt a pang of sadness at the memory. It had been beautiful, but then again, so had a lot of things.
Before long we had approached the great stone pillar, the one between platforms nine and ten. Jasper, Leon, Audrey and I stared at it incredulously.
“What did the letter say you had to do?” Asked Audrey softly, as though speaking the question louder would scare Jasper and I away from the concept. She knew neither Jasper nor I were fussed on the idea. Jasper shook his head.
“It said we had to run at the barrier and we’d pass through.”
Leon laughed. “Trust me, I swear the letter’s right. Unless the barrier’s changed since your- since, I used to go here.”
There was an awkward pause. We all knew he’d been on the verge of saying ‘your dad and I’. I had forgotten that Dad and Leon had gone to Hogwarts for a while. I glanced at Jasper; he was staring at the ground. I wondered if he was thinking about our parents too.
Finally, I spoke.
“Well, alright then.” I whispered wrapping my arms around Audrey. “Thanks for everything.” Thanks for everything. That didn’t even being to cover it, but I didn’t know what else to say. Jasper strode forward in turn to hug both of them.
“It was nothing.” Insisted Leon sounding sad, his voice soft again. “Have a good year!”
“Make sure you write!” Audrey was calling.
“And don’t get on anyone’s bad side.”
They were shouting all sorts of warnings and farewells by now, only Jasper and I never heard for we had disappeared through the stone barrier.
It was beautiful. I suppose that’s one way you could sum it up. Before us stood a fabulous, towering, scarlet steam engine. It gleamed even in the dim light that penetrated the steam. Hundreds of students milled around us, but I was no longer quite so nervous. I was almost excited. Some has their parents, some had no one. I was suddenly glad Jasper was with me.
Together we pushed our way toward the train. Students seemed to be stacking their luggage into a spare carriage. It was a team effort, but finally Jasper and I managed to get both of our trunks into the confined space. I realized the train would be leaving soon. That would explain why it was so full.
“C’mon.” Jasper instructed grabbing at my sleeve. “Let’s go find a compartment.”’
I walked close behind him, watching my step and not the curious stares of those around me. Not that I needed to, the chance of me falling over was almost laughable.
The interior of the train was as crowded as the outside had been. The worst past being, we couldn’t find a spare compartment. It was luck and nothing else when we found a red haired girl and her friends leaving their own to sit with a group of rowdy boys.
With a heavy sigh I sank into my chair, stretching my legs out across the full length of the seat seeing as there were only two of us, one side each.
“So,” I murmured with my eyes closed. “This is it. No turning back.”
Jasper sighed too. Although I could not see him, it was easy to imagine him lounging on his side too, though I doubted he would fit properly.
“Yes. So it is. And we’re not going to need to turn back. We’re not going to have anything to run from” I could almost hear the ‘this time’ hanging in the air. He was soothing me again, but I knew by the hint I finality in his tone that the conversation wasn’t getting any longer than this.
“You know Lulah; we really need to find a cure for your nerves.” He chuckled. “Of all the faults you could’ve been born with nerves are the worst.”
I faced him this time, my lids snapping open, eyes ablaze.
“Don’t start.” I snapped angrily, “I can’t believe you even-
“Lulah.” He cut me off, placating me with a gentle gaze. “I was only joking. So really, calm down.” He was serious once more.
“I’m sorry, it’s just-”
We drifted back into silence. I wrapped my arms around my shoulders and stared out the window. And Jasper immersed himself in the latest copy of ‘Quidditch Quips’. I wondered what he found so interesting about it. I was lost in the steady rhythm of the train beneath me and the soft whoosh as the English country-side sped by. I thought about our parents, and everything leading up to this. All this was ruined when a loud rip of unruly laughter found its way under the door.
Our reactions were immediate. At once we were on our feet. Jasper with his shoulders tensed and I with my feet apart, ready for action. The compartment had grown alarmingly hot, but neither of us really noticed.
“Damn it.” Jasper growled sinking back into his seat at last. His head was in his hands as he regained control. “It was only those bloody kids across the aisle.”
I looked out the window. His shame was mine. Apparently the mousy haired boy had done something particularly funny.
I did not laugh. I dropped into the seat besides him.
“Hmmm…perhaps we over reacted there a little.”
He laughed harshly into his palms. “Maybe a little. But… but I guess, after everything, it makes sense…”
To this I made no reply. It was suddenly awkward once more. It was an unspoken agreement between us not to mention it again.
The rest of the train ride was in peace.
When the Hogwarts Express pulled up at Hogsmeade Station I was much relieved to get off the train.
For almost a whole journey the kids across the aisle (Jasper and I had dubbed them ‘the jerks’) had been laughing and calling out. Shouting obscenities and reciting crude limericks. It was almost as though they were laughing at us, at me. Rubbing our over reaction into our faces. Jasper said he was positive none of them had seen us, but I wasn’t so sure.
Anyhow, it was a relief, if not to escape ‘the jerks’, but to get some fresh air. The one good thing about travel to Olydias was that it had been comparatively short.
We followed the flow of students up the path. The ground was gravely and wet, it crunched beneath out feet and slid away occasionally, not that Jasper or I slipped.
I was beginning to grow tired when out of nowhere (of so it seemed) a thestral drawn carriage pulled out in front of us.
I exchanged an alarmed look with Jasper. Thestrals? Of all the things they could use, they had to use Thestrals. Jaspers hand was on my shoulder.
“Just pretend you don’t see them.” He whispered. “Remember, stay inconspicuous.”
I nodded tersely; I very much doubted I would’ve acknowledged their presence any further if he hadn’t warned me. They set me on edge.
“Anyone else to get into the carriage?” A voice called from the depths of the coach.
I made haste to get inside, Jasper no doubt following behind me. I climbed lithely thought the door and lowered myself onto the seat, avoiding the stares of these unfamiliar people.
I moved quietly to sit in the furthest seat from the door, across from a boy whose looks I could not clearly make out. I squinted at him once with my amber coloured eyes, and then turned my attention away. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Jasper sitting tall too. He struck an impressive figure sitting there. Naturally so did I. This was our defense mechanism.
And then I saw him. I mean, really saw him.
He was staring out the window, just as he had been before, apparently oblivious to the attention I was now paying him. Everything about him was beautiful. I wouldn’t stretch to say ‘perfect’ but ‘beautiful’ seemed to be a fairly good description for now. The silvery moonlight that had broken through the clouds reflected off his ivory skin and enhanced his brooding, moody features. A couple of times a faint smile twitched at the corner of his mouth. I thought he may have been listening in on conversations. I had the strangest impulse to read his mind.
Every now and then he cast a dark irritated look to the pair sitting beside him, and it was obvious they were a pair.
They sat close together, bodies touching. The male of the two, every now and then reached to stroke the girls face, or neck or arm. In response the girl would blush, knotting their hands together even more. They paid no attention to the boy who so effortlessly held mine.
The ride came to an abrupt halt, and without a backward glance the boy had slid gracefully out. I stared after him, sure that someone would notice the fire burning from my eyes. Apparently no one did. Jasper threw me a curious glance, but otherwise disregarded my attack of lust. He passed it off as excitement for arriving at our new school. Only I was to know it was the mysterious boy who had provoked me.
I looked up ahead of me, now out of the carriage. It certainly was a sight to behold.
Hogwarts tower loomed before me. It was tall, very tall and I swear the whole thing seemed to be made of turrets, towers, bridges and lit windows. It was grand, to be sure, but in a different way to Olydias. More regal, stately, imposing. However you wanted to put it.
I glanced at Jasper who had fallen into pace beside me. His handsome features were lit with a vehement excitement, though not without nerves.
It was the exact expression I knew that was mirrored on mine.
A/N: Howdy dowdy. Here’s the edited version of chapter one. There was so much rubbish that I cut from it. Gosh, it was actually really invigorating. Ha ha. Like Spring cleaning. Please review this shiny, new, revamped chapter. I’ll love you forever.