It had been ten years since that day and for a while, the bittersweet memory had left me. There I was, sitting at my desk, a quill poise in my hand as I finished an exceptionally long essay on Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration and its five principle exceptions.
With an abrupt knock that echoed in my cavernous room, my mother came in; her greying hair fixed in a tight bun as usual.
“Estelle,” she said snappishly as she stood by the doorway, “Arrêter de faire votre travail.” Stop doing your work. “You are not to be going back to Beauxbatons.”
I stared at her, stunned. “What?!” My eyes went wide. “Then where am I going?”
“Parler en français,” she said brusquely, casting me a cold look: speak in French.
“Où vais-je?” I asked, a bit more forcefully... more desperately. I thought of my friends in Beauxbatons and frowned. This would be the second time I was to leave without a goodbye.
“Tu vas ‘ogwarts.”
Hogwarts... Why did it sound so familiar?
My mother told me that I ought to be packing since I was to leave the day after tomorrow. I didn’t move. Instead I continued staring at her, mouth agape.
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” I shouted at her, furious.
“Parler en français,” she hissed, exaggerating each syllable. Speak. In. French.
“Pourquoi n'avez-vous pas me le dire?!” I stood up from my chair and glared at her, throwing my quill down onto the table.
“Ne pas poser des questions.” she replied coldly. Do not ask questions.
Before I could provide her with a retort she had already slammed the door shut. I listened to her footsteps which gradually turned into a seething silence. I stood where I was - fuming - unable to believe it.
I sat back down on my hardwood chair and stared at the small droplet of ink that dribbled from the end of my quill. I gritted my teeth and crumpled up the three foot long parchment; the long hours I had spent on it disregarded.
My parents apparated me to Platform 9 and 3/4 where behold, a large scarlet steam train stood glistening before me. I watched curiously as crowds of students scrambled about on the platform, carrying cages of owls and suitcases.
“Vous pouvez y aller maintenant,” You can go now, I said coldly to my parents. I turned my back on them without hesitation, picked up my frill embroidered suitcase and set off towards the already crowded train. I passed my suitcase onto a short man who’s job it was to place luggage into the cargo and stepped onto the train.
I slowly walked down the small corridor, peering through the windows of small compartments. The further down I went, the more I realised that the chances of claiming a compartment to myself was slim. Finally, I reached the last compartment which, miraculously, was empty. I smiled to myself and slid the door open.
Just as I had adjusted myself on the hard, uncomfortable seat and pulled down the curtain towards the corridor, the door opened once more. I found myself staring at the black spectacle-framed hazel eyes of a very tall, slightly skinny boy with messy black hair.
“Excuse me,” he said loudly, “this is our compartment.”
“Pardonnez-moi,” I gave him a frosty look, “I do not see your name written on it.”
Judging by the surprised look on his face, he had noticed my genuine accent.
“Prongs, oi! What’s the hold up here?” I heard another loud, though deep, voice shout. All of a sudden there was a small bustle outside the doorway and another face appeared.
I stared at a boy with haughty, aristocratic good looks; high-cheekbones, a straight nose with a pointed tip, soft pink lips that seemed to form the perfect pout, arched, dark eyebrows and finally, soft pastel grey eyes that was curtained by the elegant strands of coal-black hair. His shoulders were broad and he stood slightly shorter and more built than the other boy. I stared at him and cocked my head, my own azure eyes glimmering with astonishment. Either the sight of him was breath-taking or there was something about him.
The boy looked back at me, his grey eyes narrowing slightly as he too cocked his head; a curious expression on his face.
“What’s your name?” he asked somewhat insolently.
Offended, I ignored him and instead, looked to the window; the blur of a green field visible as the train sped off.
“Never mind then,” I heard him mutter bitterly. Obviously, he was unaccustomed to being ignored, “Will you please leave our compartment now?”
I cast him a glare and pursed my lips, ignoring him once again.
“Padfoot, play nice.” The first boy said, smiling warmly as he sat himself on the opposite seat.
The second boy - Padfoot - scoffed before joining him, sitting on the furthest seat away from me. “Only because you’re head boy.” Of course, I noticed the golden shimmer of a badge that read HeadBoy on the first.
I watched them silently and to my surprise, another two boys followed in after the second.
One had sandy brown hair, his lined face warm as he smiled at me despite the exhausted, and weak condition he appeared to be in. He was clad in a shabby cloak and torn jeans; I noticed he was of the lanky build. I watched him out of the corner of my eyes as he sat beside me, pulling out a thick book from his backpack, blue eyes floating from one side to the other as he read.
The other boy was shorter than the rest and slightly more portly. He had mousy brown hair and nervous dark eyes that seemed to dart everywhere. He sat in between the first boy and Padfoot.
After another minute of scrutinizing the four boys, I looked back out the window, unimpressed to see the same green colour I had seen just previously.
“Where are you from?” I heard one of the boys ask. Sure that they were speaking to me, I ignored them. It was only until one of them tapped me on the shoulder that I turned around, quite fiercely. “Where are you from?” The boy with the hazel eyes repeated, kindly.
Aware of the one called Padfoot watching me, I hesitated before answering. “France.” I noticed how his head cocked once more. The others merely nodded, with the exception of the one reading the book. He, on the other hand, had put down his book.
“What is it like there?” he asked in a soft voice.
“It is nice, I suppose.” I replied, looking at him.
“What’s your name?” Padfoot asked again. This time, I was unable to ignore him without appearing to have a grudge on him.
“Estelle.” I answered, not failing to notice the small gasp that escaped his mouth. “Estelle Louvier.” I looked at him as the others nodded again, as though it was something to be understood. “Why did you gasp?” I asserted him.
“Estelle... Louvier?” he repeated my name, brows furrowed handsomely.
“Oui,” I nodded, narrowing my eyes; perplexed by his behaviour.
“Sirius, has an owl got your tongue?” the first boy said, grinning at Sirius.
“Sirius?” I breathed, eyes instantly wide as the look of familiarity appeared on both our faces. “Sirius!”
“No way!” Sirius shouted, getting to his feet as his mouth turned into a large grin. “You’re supposed to be at Beauxbatons!”
I followed him in standing up, “My parents decided to send me to ‘ogwarts! Sirius! Iz it really you?”
“Yes! Yes it is!” he yelled out of excitement, eyes glistening brightly.
We were oblivious to the bewilderment surrounding us. That is, until one of the boys coughed loudly. “Um,” the first boy said, smiling along, “What in Merlin’s knickers’ going on here?”
I let Sirius exhaust himself by explaining the long story. “By the way,” he breathed as he finished the tale, “this is James,” He pointed at the spectacled boy, “Peter,” he pointed at the shorter, stockier one, “and Remus.” He nodded at the nicer, more modest looking boy with the book.
I nodded at them all; everything, including my feelings towards them all, a lot warmer and more comfortable now. I beamed at Sirius, who smirked back.
“How iz Regulus?” I asked him, smile faltering almost as quickly as Sirius’s had. Even the other boys had stopped all conversation, bringing about an unnerving silence.
“I don’t talk to him anymore,” Sirius said with a bitter smile, “Nor my parents...”
I furrowed my brows, puzzled.
“Don’t worry about it.” he forced a warmer, more relaxed smile. I nodded understandingly. “How long has it been?” he asked in a manner which suggested that he wanted to move away from the previous conversation.
“It ‘as been ten years or so,” I answered him. Suddenly, a familiar dreaded feeling returned to me. Sirius must have noticed since he, too, frowned. “It was a nice evening.”
I nodded in agreement. It had been a very nice evening...
By the time we reached the castle - the boys dressed in their robes, scarlet and golden ties wrapped around their necks - I had eaten an estimate of three Cauldron Cakes and two Pumpkin Pasties with a flask of pumpkin juice; yet, I was not satisfied.
My stomach grumbled along with the boys’s as we jumped onto a horse-less carriage. I was most baffled by this.
“What iz pulling us?” I asked them. I was seated next to Sirius who chuckled.
“Magic,” he said, captivating me with his wink. The breath was knocked out of me.
“Ah, I would take Remus’s word rather than Sirius’s.” James told me, also smiling.
“Noted.” I grinned back, laughing as Sirius gave James a light punch.
As soon as the carriage came to a halt, Sirius jumped down and held out his hand for me. I giggled, remembering the time ten years ago. As though he had remembered it too, he brought my hand to his lips and pecked it lightly.
“Madame,” he said in an alluring voice as I stepped down fluidly.
“Ooh lala, monsieur,” I replied in a sing-song voice as he accompanied me up to the front of the castle. I stopped to look at the star-strewn sky above and gaped in awe at the sight of the grand castle; the orange lights shining out of the many windows.
“Wait until you see inside,” Sirius said, smirking fondly. We continued towards the Entrance Hall, where I was stopped by a round bellied man with a straw-blond - though flecked with grey - moustache that resembled that of a walrus’s.
“Oho, you must be Miss Louvier,” he said jubilantly, rocking on his heels. “Please come with me.”
With a look back at the boys, more particularly Sirius, I followed the man. I noticed how his emerald green robe swished at the hem as he led me down towards the colder section of the castle; the dungeons as Sirius had told me just moments ago.
He opened a heavy wooden door, exposing a large cavernous room where shadows lay around the edges. The stone was cold all around me and I found myself shivering. He beamed at me as he passed on a pile of black robes and a piece of parchment. “I am Professor Slughorn and I have been notified that you are to be placed in my house.”
I looked at the green and silver tie on top of the pile, fully aware that it was not the scarlet and gold that Sirius and the others had wore.
“Which ‘ouse iz your ‘ouse, exactly, Sir?” I asked, concealing my disappointment with a small smile.
“It is Slytherin, my dear, and a pleasure it is to have you here!” He continued beaming amiably. “Now this is your schedule,” he tapped at the piece of parchment with a stubby finger, “I have assigned a prefect to escort you to the Great Hall now but he might be a bit late, you see: thestrals aren’t exactly the swiftest form of transport.”
“No, Professor Slughorn, I’m here.” I heard a resonant voice say behind me and I turned around. For the second time tonight my breath got caught in my throat, “And it will be my greatest pleasure to accompany Estelle Louvier down to the Great Hall.”
AN:Hi guys! :) Thanks for dropping by! I really appreciate it! Hopefully, you all enjoyed this chapter :D