Chapter 1 : Hogwarts
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I own nothing and I am not J.K. Rowling.
Chapter 1: Hogwarts
“Where are we?” I heard myself ask through a sleepy voice. The old wizard with white beard and spectacles was sitting in a hollow tree trunk lying nearby.
“Hogwarts,” he answered.
Surprised by his answer I turned around. Behind me, a great castle with high towers rose towards the black august night. I beheld for the first time the owlery, the Black Lake, the Astronomy Tower where Albus Dumbledore would eventually die. For a minute I allowed myself to consider the possibility that I was staring into reality and not into the places that I had only been able to visit through years and years of books. I turned around once again to face Dumbledore.
“It is impossible,” I said. It had to be a dream. It had to. The last thing I remembered before appearing where I was standing now was turning off the lights in my bedroom. The orange book had been resting quite close to my head, guarding my sleep just beside my pillow. That must have happened. The fact that I was still wearing my pyjamas was enough evidence. And yet, there I was, standing in the middle of the Forbidden Forest talking to a fictional character.
“What am I doing here?” I asked Dumbledore.
“Well,” he said, “this is what you have been always wishing for. Isn’t it?”
Of course I had wished for it. I had wished for it so many times. Who in the real world had not dreamt about it? The possibility of beholding Harry Potter with your own eyes, learn all there is to know about magic. But that was another world. A world into which we, the real people, the muggles, could not enter but through the pages of a book. Of seven books.
“Hogwarts isn’t real,” I told Dumbledore, grabbing hold of the trunk, which I had not packed, and beginning to walk away.
“Where are you going?” asked he without even looking my way.
“Home,” I said, “I suppose I am in the UK, am I not?”
Dumbledore said yes.
“Fine,” I continued, “I am bound to find a town eventually, a train station, even. I’ll be on my way to London in no time.”
“You’ll find some money in you pocket,” he said. His willingness to cooperate surprised me.
“Thank you,” I said in what I thought was a calm voice.
I put my hand into my pyjama’s pocket and soon found what felt like a pound. I took the large coin and looked at it while it rested on my palm. There, as real and cold as only gold can be, was a Galleon. The feeling of it was too real; the weight, the colour, the inscriptions on either side, they were all too real. They had to be real.
“There are centaurs in the Forest,” Dumbledore warned me, taking me out of my quiet reflections, “though you must know that by now.”
“I do,” I said, “I also know about the unicorns, and the spiders, and Hagrid’s giant brother…”
“Ah,” said Dumbledore in triumph, finding at last a hole in my knowledge of his world, “you are, I think, a little early for that.”
I remained quiet.
“Though you are just in time for the dragons, I must say.”
Dumbledore’s words surprised me. The first challenge, I thought.
“It will happen later this year,” he said, reading in my mind the words that my lips had not uttered. I had not been aware of Dumbledore having that power, though I should have guessed it. Anyway, it was Snape that I would have to be careful with, now wouldn’t I?
“What year is it?” I asked quite suddenly. The possibility of mi fantasy becoming an actual reality was suddenly becoming more and more enticing.
“Fourth,” Dumbledore said still not looking at me but straight towards the Astronomy Tower.
“The Goblet of Fire,” I said.
Dumbledore stood up suddenly. It was the first time I ever noticed how tall he was. He walked towards me and finally stopped when he was not to far away.
“They will all arrive the day after tomorrow,” he said, “on the train leaving from Platform 9 ¾.”
My mouth fell wide open, which made Dumbledore laugh as he realized that I had finally been convinced.
“What will it be, young lady?” he asked.
I thought about it for a minute, about my family, my friends, school. And yet, I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The great wizard seemed to have read my mind again, something I did not really appreciate, for he told me right away:
“Take your trunk with one hand and hold on hard to my robe, now,”
I did what Dumbledore asked me to do and waited for the sickening sensation of Disapparating. In just a few seconds we were gone.
The next couple of days went by in a haze. I was sorted quickly and silently into Ravenclaw. Whenever any of the staff insisted on asking, and Snape was a fan of this question, why I was even there, Dumbledore would tell them that I was a special case. I did feel like a special case. They were all happy to know that I had, at least, some basic knowledge about magic. I was most excited about my recently acquired magic, though they needn’t know that. On the morning following my arrival Professor Sprout took me to Diagon Alley (Well, Professor Flitwick couldn't just take me to buy my robes, now could he?). Dumbledore must have talked seriously to her, for she never let go of my hand in the whole time we were there, as if I was just going to Disapparate now that I knew how to. It was particularly uncomfortable to try on my new robes with her commenting on letting a little down the hem.
“I am alright, Professor,” I would keep saying.
“Tsk tsk tsk,” she would click her tongue, “I know what I’m saying, dear. Those Slytherin boys are like nothing you’ve encountered before.”
Her silly worries would make me laugh, though inside I was really happy that there was someone taking such good care of me. After the robes there was the issue of the wand. I was so excited about the whole matter that I never really found out what my wand was made of. Yet I do remember looking into the happy face of Mr. Ollivander and thinking that he did not know what he would be going through in less than two years. I didn’t get a pet, though Professor Sprout encouraged me to get one and I was secretly yearning for a cat. The money in my pocket, the only money I had and which actually belonged to Dumbledore, recommended that I spent it on more important things.
The first dinner I ever had in the Great Hall was unlike anything I had ever expected. Though there were but few of us, there appeared upon my vacant Ravenclaw table a large amount of pastries, juice, butterbeer, steak and potatoes. Though it was all I could have possibly dreamt of, the loneliness took some of the joy away from me.
As I lay in bed that night, going over all the small details I had to remember the following day, I could not shake the feeling that that first, second, really, dinner in the Great Hall was to be the worst I would ever have.
As early as six in the morning I was already strolling the grounds. I ran into Snape on one occasion. That’s funny, I thought with a little giggle, I didn’t know Snape enjoyed some healthy exercise. I also made sure my little stroll proved useful by becoming acquainted with Hagrid, who I had always wished to know and maybe share some tea in bucket-sized cups with.
At exactly eleven o’clock I felt my stomach give an odd growl and turn inside of my body. I made sure to keep myself entertained for the rest of the day. I quickly got to know my way around the grounds and library, as well as the many nooks and corridors of the castle. When it was close to seven I saw the Heads of Houses run towards the main entrance.
“Oh,” said Professor McGonagall looking at me as if I was some kind of freak, which I actually was in a school full of wizards, “do make yourself useful and get out of the way, won’t you dear?”
Discouraged by her words I made my way to the Great Hall and sat down in my table, feeling increasingly stupid since I was the only one in the entire place. Slowly I saw how the older students, those who had come in the carriages, I knew, made their way to their tables.
This was fourth year at Hogwarts. I tried to remember whether Harry, Ron and Hermione would be in the Hall for the Sorting. My question was answered when I saw them strolling to the Gryffindor table. I saw Draco Malfoy followed by Crabbe and Goyle make his way to his own table, regarding me for a second as if I was but a new bug that had yet to be squished. Somehow this did not bother me. Luna Lovegood was kind enough to sit beside me and soon started to talk to me about his father and the Quibbler. I listened excitedly to her chatter and was able to respond to many of the things she said since I had already heard her say them in my mind. When almost everyone was sitting down and there were only some Hufflepuffs missing their seats I heard all of the girls in the Hall grow quiet, though one or two did scream. I turned to Cho Chang, who was sitting beside me, and discovered that she was staring fixedly to a moving point and had gone completely pale in the process. I followed the very line her eyes were following and soon discovered what (or who, actually) the fuss was all about. I must have looked pale too, for Luna soon started suggesting that some magical thing or other must have bitten me. The truth was that there, standing like a ghost and making his way to his own table, I saw for the first time Cedric Diggory’s tall frame. My heart skipped a beat, though it had nothing to do with the fact that he was more handsome than I ever dared imagine. Staring into his face, it seemed to me at that moment, was like staring into the very face of death.
So. I hoped you liked it. If you did leave a comment and I'll try to post the next chapter as soon as possible. Thanks!