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Chapter 1 : The Hogwarts Express
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I made my way along a corridor pondering on the strategy I would use to get out of tonight’s detention. Two months into the school year and I had been in detention five times, which was a lot for me, but these days I kept finding myself at the wrong side of the school rules. It would make sense if I had pulled out someone’s hair, but I had sneaked out at night to do a painting of the Great Hall. Impulse driven artistic tendencies like this was the reason I got detention. It’s like someone jinxed me in that area, and the sad part was no single person remembered anything I supposedly did except for Claudia. The poor girl lent me her ear when I complained about the unfairness of my idea of the arts being dark after all.
Anyway, when some bored witch or wizard decides to hold a contest in Hogwarts for breaking rules, I will lose. The whole of Hogwarts combined would be defeated by the Manticores: Fred Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, James and Albus Potter. They were almost unstoppable and very meticulous in their executions. Lost in my own thoughts, I failed to notice the person hurrying towards me.
“Watch where you are going moron,” I snapped, as I tried to avoid him, but it was too late. I collided painfully into him, and my books flew from my clutch. There were crazier people in this school than I had imagined, I thought irritably. Hopefully, it wasn’t because he had a lousy shaving time because that would be one stupid reason to cause me pain.
Gazing up, I came face to face with clear, amber eyes staring at me coldly. It turned out the boy wasn’t a freak after all. Although, outward appearances never fooled me: I had to admit Fred was delicious. Edrea, you just had breakfast, I chided myself. Fine but he was still clumsy.
“What did you say?” He asked. That puzzled look on his face would find its way on my drawings someday.
For the love of Harry Potter, don’t make me call you an obtuse moron. It would be a terrible insult for a tall, muscular wizard with curly black hair and a face like Michelangelo’s David. Great, I wanted to eat a naked marble statue. My appreciation of the human form and the talent to use a pencil was from my Mum. The rest of me was Dad especially the magical part. “You heard me,” I retorted, flipping my brown mane in a huff, which was a waste of energy.
“Yes, but if you had been more careful I wouldn’t have bumped into you,” he said, in a soft voice one would use with a child.
Well I never... I probably look like one. Imagine being in 6th Year and still being unable to wear any support. The horror! My twins are no bigger than a Snitch and already half the girls in my class have Quaffles sticking out of their chests. Someone somewhere was skimping on my features, and it was unfair. I should probably take my case to the Ministry of Magic for evaluation. Then again how I concluded this was the reason behind his tone was beyond me. I glared up at him hoping I wouldn’t blush at my misconception. “Naturally, it was my fault,” I remarked brightly.
“You took the words right out of my mouth.”
“You can’t be serious,” I exploded; annoyed by the way he was still addressing me. “It’s your fault. Do you know how big you are?” He isn’t alone on the obtuse meter, is he? I thought sarcastically. It was frustrating how I couldn’t rephrase that sentence. I was losing my touch today. Normally, I could converse with the opposite sex and get away scorch free.
“I don’t think size is the issue here,” he stated calmly. “Next time I will charm my shirt to say WATCH OUT. Would that satisfy you, your majesty?”
My eyes automatically went to his chest and I smiled despite myself, “That for starters but I doubt the school will allow it.”
“What was I thinking?” He drawled sarcastically. “Wait, it was the shock caused by your tiny body hitting me.”
What nerves… Did some people own eyes? I practically reached his stupid sculpted chest. I bit back the long string of words rushing from my brain. “I don’t give a damn,” I blazed. “Next time try walking. It is the thing people do when they place one foot in front of the other.”
“You are giving me advice.”
“It is part of my duties as your Queen.”
His voice was low and deadly when he said, “Back off a little, witch. I don’t remember including myself in your kingdom.”
“You called me your majesty,” I retorted, injecting every syllable with as much venom I could muster. “I don’t think I would have mistaken that for an insult.”
“If you want to call it that, be my guest,” he said with a shrug.
“You must be confused,” I said.
“At least, I don’t lack manners.”
“You just insulted me again,” I shrieked tightening my fists. Will he take me down like a Bludger when I hit him?
“Most people notice when complimented, but it seems you prefer insults,” he said nonchalantly.
“As you can see, I’m not most people.”
He deliberately swept his eyes over me and I felt small. “Thanks for reminding me because the last time I checked you didn’t own the planet.”
“Your ego is as big as Hogwarts,” I concluded forcefully.
“Now that is a compliment,” he said with a devastating smile.
“You should go knock yourself somewhere else,” I snapped angrily.
“I think I did that earlier,” he laughed.
His sparkling white teeth would make a girl swoon and his laugh was infectious. I bit my lower lip to stop from laughing, but it was useless, “Tell me about it. Were you taking a trip to the moon at that speed?”
“Maybe,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I’m not a morning person.”
“I expected these dark clouds to bring a storm,” I remarked amusingly.
“The storm has passed,” he announced. “Let us do this again; you can bump into me next time.”
“I would like that,” I admitted still smiling. “But there are other ways that are painless.”
“Are you hurt?”
“It is nothing serious but if I have any aches. I know who to blame.”
“Hey, it’s not like the Hogwarts Express hit you,” he pointed out, his eyes twinkling.
“Let’s bring up that subject of size again,” I told him, and it was my turn to do the eye sweeping.
“Let’s forget about what happened,” he suggested.
Admittedly, I had enjoyed exchanging words with Fred, and I wished he knew my name. After all, Fred Weasley was in my year, and although I was from Hufflepuff, I liked this Gryffindor and his other friends. These boys knew how to behave without a care.
“Hello, my name is Edrea Hall.”
“Fred Weasley,” he said. “It is nice to meet you, Hall.”
“Likewise, I have to go to class,” I said bending down to pick my books.
"Let me do that,” he offered, picking them up and handing me my stack.
“Thanks, I’ll see you around.”
“We are heading to the same place,” he said, pointing to one of my books, One Thousand Magical Plants and Fungi.
Silly me, I had forgotten that since First Year we had paired up with the Gryffindors for Herbology. We silently walked together to glasshouse number seven before separating at the door. This was one scene that would make its way on my canvas and not in my life.
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