Disclaimer: Everything you realise belongs to J.K. Rowling. Oh, and Pride and Prejudice belongs to Jane Austen.
Chapter Image: by !batman @ TDA.
A/N: Well... I’ve had this somewhat bizarre idea for some time, and decided to give it a go. It’s something new because I haven’t seen a story about a Muslim girl in this site. I’ve done a lot of research, so yeah. Oh, and most of the things spoken in bold means it’s spoken in Arabic. Anyway, hope you enjoy!
| Chapter 1 |
“Hiba!” the screaming of my Mama rang from downstairs and I quickly jumped out of bed. “Wake up! It’s almost 11 and you have to help me make dinner for our guest tonight! Yallah!
” she screamed in Arabic.
I groaned inwardly and remembered that my cousin would be coming all the way from Egypt tonight. But that wasn’t the entire reason to why my mother wanted help in kitchen. Ever since our summer holidays began, she nagged me every day to help her with everything because, according to her, I had a holiday now and the least I could do was make myself useful.
I went to the bathroom first to wash my face and brush my teeth and then walked with haste back to my room to change my clothes. My room was rather messy, and it was an unwritten rule in our household that before we exit our room, we have to tidy it. Fortunately for me, I had become of age a while ago, and hence I was finally allowed to use magic outside school. Grinning, I grabbed my wand from the bedside table with enthusiasm and with a flick, my clothes on the floor folded up and flew back to their respective places, the books I had been reading during the holidays, one of them to be the Muggle book Pride and Prejudice, flew back to my bookshelf, and finally, my bed was made.
Just as I was about to exit my room, Mama started screaming again.
“Coming!” I called loud enough for her to hear, and instead of walking downstairs, I decided to Apparate to test my apparition skills. After all, I had gotten my apparition license a few days ago.
I successfully landed, or more like fell, in the living room with a loud POP. I heard a fit of laughter from somewhere to my right and discovered Ali, my fifteen old brother, was already awake.
“You’re such a show-off,” he said through his laughter. I glared at him and stood up with difficulty.
“A little help would be good, Ali,” I muttered as I fell back on the floor with a thud. I think it was the after-effects of apparition beginners. Ali found this amusing and kept on laughing before he turned away. Unfortunately, he was much taller than me now even though I was older. Before, I used to tower over him and intimidate him in a way. Now I was the one intimidated...not that I’ll ever admit that in front of him.
“Idiot!” I moaned, my eyes on his retreating back. “You’re just jealous that I can Apparate and use magic outside school now!”
He just kept on laughing. “Whatever. I will be of age in almost 2 years. So why should I be jealous?” Typical brother, always there to ruin your day. He then ran upstairs without lending me a helping hand.
I finally managed to get up without wobbling and walked to the kitchen before Mama would get a heart attack. She was cutting potatoes and looked up when I arrived, her eyes narrowing. “Ya Allah, Hiba. How long did it take you to come here? I called you exactly an hour ago!”
“I’m sorry, Mama,” I apologised in Arabic, my native tongue which I was partially fluent at. Both my parents knew how to speak English well, but they liked us to speak Arabic at home so that we don’t forget it. We liked to keep our culture vibrating in our house, anyway. “I was tidying my room before I came down.”
This satisfied her and she beckoned me to eat my breakfast quickly so that I could take over by cutting the cucumbers. According to everyone I knew, I was the spitting image of Mama. I had the same dark eyes with long eyelashes, same face structure and same olive skin that Arabs possessed. The only thing I didn’t inherit from her was my hair, which was thick, dark and curly. According to my Baba, I had is hair. I couldn’t tell because he was already half bald by now.
Once I finished my omelette sandwich, I took over by cutting the cucumbers. I decided to ask her a question (which I’m sure I’ve asked her a gazillion times already). “Mama, why can’t you just use magic for the cooking?”
She looked at me and shook her head. “Ya Allah, Hiba. How many times have you asked me that question? I’ve told you countless of times that we don’t use magic for inappropriate things. God has given us hands to do things and we must use them well,” she lectured me in English, probably because she thought I’ll understand her better that way. “We can’t just be lazy and expect magic to do everything for us. We use magic for doing good only, like fighting against the Dark Arts. God has given us the power to use magic so we can make a change in the world, in a good way, not for slaving purposes. We must use it against people like this You-Know-Who.” she took out eggs from the fridge. “And besides,” she added, switching from English to Arabic. “When I was younger I had Muggles as parents, and I never once used magic inappropriately. Never.”
I nodded my head in understanding, even though she has told me this countless of times. Of course, Mama was a Muggle-born which is the reason why her whole family were Muggles. According to her and Baba’s stories, they met each other in the Arabian Academy of Sorcery in Baghdad, one of the most famous wizarding schools in the Middle-East, much like how Hogwarts was in Europe. My father, being a pureblood from a magical family in Egypt, had wanted to attend the school in his fourth year and his parents agreed to move from Egypt to Iraq for his education. Typically, they met each other in the Academy, and after the two graduated a few years passed before Baba proposed via Mama’s father. They happily wed before they moved here to England.
An hour had already passed and we were still cooking. Mama had decided to make every Arab dish she knew, which was beyond me. “Mama, it’s only one person coming for dinner tonight. Why are you making it as though an army are coming for dinner?”
She was jumping around the kitchen like a frantic chicken, as though we haven’t got another five hours before my cousin from my Baba’s side, Hassan Mostafa, was going to come here from Egypt. I haven’t seen him before and apparently he wanted to become a Quidditch referee so he decided to come here to qualify for it.
“Because, Hiba, I’ve invited Uncle Rassoul and his family to come too.” she told me hurriedly while getting a frying pan out of the cupboard.
“Really!?” I asked excitedly, hoping it to be true. Uncle Rassoul was my mother’s older brother and he had two daughters, Hanan and Elaf, and one son, Ahmad, who was my brother’s age. They were obviously Muggles but they knew about our magical life since my Mama is the only one in her family to be a Witch. Their daughter, Hanan, was only two years older than me and she and I were really close. She knew I attended Hogwarts and she found it fascinating.
Mama nodded in response without looking at me and resumed whatever she was doing and I went over to the sink to wash the dishes. For a minute I wondered how life would be easier if she just used her bloody wand to do all the housework, but as she said, we were capable of doing these things without magic, or without house elves for that matter.
After I was finished with helping her in the kitchen, I made my way towards the stairs before the main door in the front of the house opened and in came a tall, slightly bald wizard with a beard and long moustache, more specifically known as my Father. He had just Apparated from work in the Ministry. He didn’t usually come home this early so I was quite surprised. I smiled once he saw me and ran towards him for a hug as though I was still 5 years old.
“A-salamu-alaikum, darling,” he greeted me with a warm smile.
“Wa-alaikum-asalam, Baba,” I greeted back.
He smiled before sniffing the aroma that was coming from the kitchen. “Where’s this beautiful smell coming from? From your Mother’s beautiful cooking, I suppose?” he said giving me a wink.
I laughed. My father always was fun to have around. Staying in a room with Mama far too long can make someone go mad fairly quickly. But I guess all Mothers are like that. When Baba went to greet Ali who had just come downstairs, I quickly went up to change before our guests – or more like our relatives – would arrive.
I took out my modest clothing because that’s how a Muslim girl, such as myself, should dress. After dressing, I tied my hair into a tight bun before wearing my hijab. My hijab was a head-scarf that I wore to hide my hair. Basically, the point of the hijab was to hide your beauty to prevent attraction from the opposite sex. It was there to protect females from the inappropriate attention women get from males, or to specifically put it, so that women weren’t viewed as ‘sexual objects’ ready to be bought.
I loved the hijab. Not because my hair wasn’t attractive (well that’s what I thought), but because I did feel protected with it. I only had to wear it in front of males, (even male cousins) but in front of females, all kids and family (aka brothers and fathers) I was hijab free. That is basically it.
After I was satisfied with my look (not that I usually cared about this sort of thing, but Mama told me to look at least presentable), I went to make my night prayers.
My cousin, Hassan Mostafa, was a rather small, skinny wizard for his age of twenty-five years. He was also very talkative and ever since he arrived at our home by floo powder, he never once shut his mouth. We were already half-way through dinner and he was still going on and on about his life in Egypt and how he really wanted to be a Chairwizard for the International Association of Quidditch.
I was able to suppress my giggles for later but my cousin, Hanan, who was sitting beside me at the dinner table, could not. Her giggles were so evident that her mother, Aunt Leila, kept on sending her warning glares. This, however, didn’t stop Hanan from giggling.
“So, tell me, Hassan. Any one you have in mind for marriage?” my father asked him midway through his boring stories, perhaps to change the topic.
“Well, not yet, no,” he answered, and I could’ve sworn his eyes flickered from me to Hanan. Apparently Hanan noticed and she glanced at me before her giggles increased into laughter and I fulfilled the urge to kick her under the table.
Everyone was silent as they stared at Hanan, who looked like she was going to fall of her chair any minute now. Aunt Leila cleared her throat rather loudly. “Hiba, you and Hanan seem to have finished your dinner,” she said sweetly, although the sound of it was like Hanan was in deep trouble after they went home. “Why don’t you two just head upstairs?”
“Yes, that’s a good idea,” Mama added, making gestures for me to hurry up. I nodded and quickly grabbed Hanan’s arm and dragged her out of the dining room.
“I swear that cousin of yours is creepy!” Hanan told me in between giggles, as we both headed upstairs to my room. I didn’t Apparate this time because she was a Muggle and it would be mean if I left her walking up the stairs alone.
I nodded, feeling myself shiver at the thought of him. “And someone couldn’t stop laughing,” I added, looking at her knowingly. “You’re in deep shit, by the looks of it.”
She shrugged. “I’m just glad we got out of there. He was creeping me out.”
I agreed and we laughed our way to my room. She quickly jumped on my bed and removed her hijab to reveal her silky black hair. Her hair always made me jealous and I didn’t have the time to feel self-conscious at the moment, so I left mine on.
“Anyway, enough about Creepo for now. So tell me,” she started, “in the past six years you’ve been at Mogwarts-”
“Hogwarts,” I corrected.
“Yeah, that. Have you ever fancied at least someone from there? I mean, come on, there must be someone.” She asked with a smirk playing on her lips. How she managed to wear the hijab was a wonder.
“Hanan, we really shouldn’t be talking about this sort of stuff,” I explained, wanting to change the subject.
“Oh come on, Hiba. It’s not like we’re doing anything haram. It’s a crush for God’s sake.” She sent me a wink.
I rolled my eyes. “To answer your question – NO - I haven’t.” I took a book out the shelf and pretended to read it.
“You’re lying.” She stated after staring at me for a few seconds.
I glanced at her before returning my eyes back to the book. “No, I’m not.”
“God, Hiba. No crush? That’s impossible.”
“I found some attractive Hanan, but I never really fancied anyone.”
“Oh,” she muttered fervently. She stayed silent for a while before speaking again. “But there must be some sought-after guys at your school that every girl wants.”
I stared at her for a split second before an image of four boys popped into my head. I scowled at the thought of them.
“So?” Hanan pressed.
“Yes, Hanan, we have those type of boys. Hogwarts isn’t a place with scary witches and wizards with warts on their noses as you might think. But honestly, I would never fall for arrogant, bullying scumbags such as those boys.” I told her darkly.
Hanan raised an eyebrow. “They can’t be that bad.” she said.
“Oh, you have no idea.” I replied, remembering them. They never had done anything to me yet, but that’s just because I’ve never crossed their way, even though they were in my year.
“Oh, OK. So I take it that you’d rather choose that lovely cousin of yours?” she joked, bursting into laughter again. Just as I was aiming my book at her, the door flew open and there stood my brother, with a cheeky grin playing on his slips.
“How many times do I have to tell you to knock on the door?” I yelled, getting up from my chair. I attempted to shut the door in his face but his hold on it was stronger than mine. “What do you bloody want?”
“Why would I want anything from you,” he said insolently. “The two of you are wanted downstairs.”
“Why?” I demanded.
“Why do you think? They’re having tea and I was told to tell you,” he rolled his eyes. “Oh and Hanan, your Mum told me to tell you that you have to behave when you go, if you don’t she’s going to send you upstairs.” He then stuck his tongue out at me and left.
I turned to Hanan with an annoyed look on my face. “He’s just so irritating!” I sighed.
She nodded. “But he’s getting all the good-looks.” she commented.
“Are you calling me ugly?” I claimed.
“No! No, that’s not what I meant.” She said quickly, getting up from my bed. At my doubtful look she added, “I’m serious!”
But I had to agree with her to some extent. My brother was better looking than me.
The next morning, while I was packing my trunk for returning to Hogwarts the next day, I received a letter. I was unfamiliar with the owl sending it, but the letter looked like it was from Hogwarts. I took the letter out of the owl’s beak and it quickly flew away, as though it didn’t need a reply note. I opened it with curiosity. It was from Dumbledore himself.
Dear Miss Mostafa,
I am very sorry for this late letter, but I had only received the news a mere week ago. One of the students, whom I’m sure you know as the Hufflepuff Prefect, Miss Amy Robins, will not be returning to Hogwarts this year for private matters I am not allowed to enclose. This means we will be one Prefect less.
Professor McGonagall and I have been trying to find a student in place of Miss Robins and found that you would be best for the post. We have been meaning to make you a Prefect from your fifth year of schooling, but the matter never happened due to me thinking that you would not agree to it. But now I am taking this opportunity in giving you the post for Prefect and I hope you would understand. You must, as I’m sure you already know, go into the Heads compartment with the other Prefects in the Hogwarts Express tomorrow. When you go there, the Head Boy and Girl will tell you everything you need to know, if you do not already know.
Again, I am very sorry for informing you this late about your new post as Prefect, Miss Mostafa. If I had known earlier that Miss Robins was not coming back, I would have informed you earlier. Thank you for your understanding.
On a lighter note, I hope you have enjoyed your summer holidays and I hope you are ready to start a fresh new year in Hogwarts when you return.
I stared at the letter with horror. Had Dumbledore lost his mind? Me being Prefect? Couldn’t he find someone else to replace Amy? Okay, he seriously has lost it. I had no leadership skills whatsoever, and on top of that, who was going to listen to me? I could already imagine the first years laughing their heads off and teasing my scarf as I’m ordering them around.
I didn’t know what made Dumbledore, or McGonagall for that matter, choose me for this post. Yes, I was fairly well acquainted with Dumbledore, judging by the fact that I had a hard first two years at Hogwarts (for obvious reasons) and had to visit the Headmaster’s office frequently. But that didn’t matter because I haven’t shown any leadership skills to be a Prefect.
With the letter came the Prefect’s badge, and inscribed on it was my name. I groaned. If I told my parents right now they would be throwing a last minute party, even though students usually get their Prefect badge when they’re in fifth year, not in their last year.
I left the letter and badge on my desk and resumed packing my trunk. The door burst open and who do you think came in?
“Now what do you want?” I demanded, glaring at Ali. He had his eyes on something else. It was the gleaming golden badge that was on my desk. Oh darn it. I quickly leaned in to take it, but he was faster and snatched it out of my grasp. I have a feeling he is going to be applying for Quidditch Chaser this year.
“So what is this we have here?” he grinned, reading what was on my badge. “Prefect: Hiba Mostafa. Oh my God, you’ve got to be kidding?”
“Give it here, Ali!” I snapped, outstretching my arm.
Instead, he ran out of my room and I could hear him calling Mama. I was going to kill that cheeky little bastard. I stormed out of my room. “ALI! GET YOUR NOSY LITTE HEAD BACK HERE OTHERWISE I SWEAR I’LL HEX YOU INTO OBLIVION!”
“Mama, look at this!” he must have reached her already. “Look, she just received a badge for Prefect! Her! I think I could hear the bloody rats laughing!”
I finally reached them. Mum was holding the glinting badge and reading it curiously. She then lifted up her head a spotted me, a large smile forming on her lips. Before I knew it, I was pulled into a sharp embrace.
A/N: Just in case you didn’t understand some words used in this chapter (which I’m sure you didn’t), I’ll translate them:
Yallah – Come on/hurry up
A-salamu-alaikum – Peace Be Upon You
Wa-alaikum-asalam – And Peace to you too
Anyway, all comments welcome! ^-^