Chapter 2 : chapter one: who I am
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"I'm gonna be just fine, cause I know exactly who I am....Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy...It's all a part of me, and that's who I am."
Jessica Andrews- Who I am
Apparating is both the most liberating and most terrifying experience known to man...or, well I guess in this case wizard. What’s wrong with driving? Or taking the broom? Or the tube? Or a taxi? Or even a flying carpet? Sure, it takes longer, but isn’t that what we’re taught our entire lives? To savour the journey just as much, if not more than the final destination?
No, instead we prefer the instantaneous and potentially disastrous form of transport. Really- and they wonder why obesity is on the rise?
I rest my case.
As firm as my beliefs against apparating may, or may not be, I’m a witch first and foremost. A witch who could have missed the Hogwarts Express, and ergo been in a terrible state for my first day of my last year of education.
“Oi! Watch where you’re going!” a male voice exclaimed after effectively barrelling me to the hard stone ground. I looked up in indignation to the human bulldozer, to see nothing but air. So much for common decency.
Who knocks people down, without offering a hand? Slytherins, that’s who. I know I shouldn’t lump all Slytherins into one category and have a prejudice against them. I had read history books about the Second War and how the head of Slytherin- Severus Snape- helped conquer Voldemort. I don’t have a prejudice against Slytherins, however. It just so happened that my prejudice is against blokes with big egos and a lack of manners. It’s just a coincidence that most of them happen to be in Syltherin.
I blew my dark brown hair out of my face and struggled to stand back up. Still feeling slightly woozy from apparating, I wobbled a bit.
“Bloody hell,” I whispered to myself as I stood straight. My lower back would most certainly have a nasty bruise. Bugger.
I looked around hastily to see if anyone noticed my fall or my murmured cursing. As luck would have it (not really, but I like to think so), no one did and with that I awkwardly got onto the cherry red train that would take me to Hogwarts, lugging my heavy trunk behind me.
Being me, Lexie Anderson, meant that no one ever really spoke to me. I don’t think it was intentional...people just didn’t see me.
I was a muggleborn witch, of average height. My hair- a dark chocolate brown- was waist length and curly and I often used it to hide in the truthfully cliche tactic used by mousey teenagers worldwide.
Growing up, my mum was always concerned about me. You see, I was odd. An odd that pushed the boundaries of normal odd. I always tried to explain myself and make excuses...but how does one explain how a school bully who may or may not have been pulling on your braids miraculously end up on the roof?
Needless to say, when Professor Thatch showed up with my letter I clung to the hope that my abnormalities in the muggle world were normalities in the wizarding world.
So now, here I am. Seventeen and ready to face the final year of my wizarding education.
I pulled myself out of my thoughts and paid attention to the hallway in which I was walking down in search of a compartment.
“Oi! James, wait up, mate!” a male voice hollered. I cringed at the sudden loud noise in such a small place. Again I ask, where do wizard folk learn their manners?
“You know Al, if we weren’t related I would actually do you physical harm, but as it is you’re mum’s favourite,” who I assumed was James replied, surprisingly close to me, causing me to jump slightly.
I sighed and grasped the latch on the sliding door to an empty compartment. With it all the way open, I grasped my trunk handle with both hands and heaved.
Maybe it was that motion which through my balance off. Either way, I found myself knocked to the ground for the second time in the span of 6 minutes.
“Bloody Hell!” I cursed with a combination of indignation and frustration. At least this time my landing spot was a carpet. Really? REALLY? Did that JUST happen. What the freaking hell!
“I’m so sorry!”
I opened my blue eyes and gasped slightly at the close proximity of one James S. Potter. Now I was seeing black spots. Jesus, I didn’t hit my head that hard did I?
The thought was banished from my head as I tried to draw in a breath, only to realize I couldn't.”
“Get...off,” I gasped. James seemed to be stunned momentarily, before he scrambled off me and surprisingly offered his hand. I accepted gratefully.
“Whoa, careful. Al, you prat, come help me!” James demanded after I swayed on the spot. Dammit. Of all the times I had to actually be noticed.
Now I found myself being helped into a seated position by the sons of the wizarding world saviour. It could be something to tell my posterity...or something.
This snapped me back into reality.
“I’m fine, thanks.”
“I’m sorry, my little,” James paused to glare at his brother, “brother pushed me into the compartment. I didn’t see you.”
Ouch. Way to add insult to injury. Kudos. No really, I think you deserve an award or something.
“It’s fine, really don’t worry about it,” I said in what I hoped was a forgiving and reassuring tone. In all actuality I was a mess of emotions, none of them light and bubbly.
“Not really. Say, are you new this year? They don't usually accept transfer students or older students. I’m James, and that is Albus. I’m a seventh year and Albus is in sixth,” James said, causing me to feel a sting of emotion. Is today just destined to be my day from hell?
I had been in everyone of James’ classes since the first year. Actually, I sat behind him for most of them and was even paired with him in herbology to replant a mandrake.
“Actually, I’m a seventh year Ravenclaw,” I said whispered, while mentally my indignation morphed into a bit of a monster.
At least the two brothers had the decency to look a little embarrassed. I give the credit fully to Mr. and Mrs. Potter. Raised their sons well, they did.
I stood then and flicked my wand to levitate my trunk out of the compartment (why didn’t I think of that sooner?) and down the corridor without a backward glance.
The only compartment that was remotely appealing was that occupied by several terrified first years, already dressed in their school robes. I smiled at them as I opened the compartment door.
“Do you mind if I sit here with you?” I asked kindly, not expecting an answer. I was, after all, a seventh year and being such would terrify them into submission anyways.
After stowing my trunk, I sat down and observed them. I honestly couldn't remember being that small. I sort of felt like popping out a doll house. Really, they would probably all fit.
All of them were eyeing me apprehensively. They must have questions.
“Do we have to perform magic in front of the entire school to get acceptance into a house and if we fail all of them do we have to sleep in the cold?” the little blonde girl in the corner asked in one breath. I smiled kindly at her.
“No. There’s this old wizard's hat that’s called the sorting hat. You just have to sit on the stool, put it on and it sorts you.” The girl looked visibly relieved.
Encouraged by my willingness to answer questions, the boy sitting next to her piped up next.
“What happens when we get off the train?”
“Well, don’t worry about getting your things. That’s all taken care of. All you need to do is get off the train, and someone will be waiting for all of the first years. You guys get to take boats across the lake to give us older students time to get into the great hall. I suppose it’s tradition too.”
“What houses are there?” the boy sitting next to me asked.
“Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor.”
“What house are you in?” the same little girl in the corner asked.
“Ravenclaw. I’m Lexie Anderson. What are your names?”
“I’m Anna Betson,” the little girl in the corner asked. I was terribly tempted to hug her and never let go. With blonde curly hair she looked like a porcelain doll.
“Greg,” the boy sitting next to me murmured.
I looked to the final boy expectantly.
“I’m Alex.” I smiled at him.
“Well, I sure hope at least one of you gets into my house. Even if you’re not, don’t hesitate to come and ask for help okay?”
“Okay,” they all chorused. I smiled again.
I remembered my first year vividly. I wished there had been someone there that I could have asked questions and felt somewhat reassured.
I looked at my watch quickly before I stood to collect my small messenger bag with my robes in it.
“We’re going to be there soon. I should probably change into my robes,” I said before walking out of the compartment. I waved before walking towards the bathrooms to change.
“That was really nice of you.”
I stopped in my tracks, turning to see none other than James Potter leaning against the wall with a thoughtful expression. It had to be James, it couldn’t be a Slytherin to antagonise me. Thank God he couldn't read my thoughts, otherwise I suspect he’d be highly offended being compared to a Slytherin...
You see, as much as I try not to admit it to myself, I like James Sirius Potter. Don’t laugh. Have you seen him? It’s a natural reaction to. Being me (a girl with high standards and unwillingness to follow trends) I try to be indifferent, and not like the ridiculous girls you see giggling as he walks by in the corridor. But there you have it. After 6 years of schooling together, he’s finally talking to me, and I have no idea what to say. Bleeding hell.
“It’s nothing,” I finally said after a few moments of uncomfortable silence.
“I don’t think so. Not many seventh years would talk to first years like that.”
“Okay,” I mumbled. Why can’t I be coherent around people my own age? I’m in Ravenclaw dammit! Start acting intelligent.
“Well, I remember what it was like sitting all alone riding on an unfamiliar train to a school that I hadn’t heard of until 2 weeks prior. It would’ve been nice if someone was there to reassure me, so I did it for them. It didn’t cost me anything.”
James looked at me then, I mean really looked at me. Not the usual glance that makes me feel like the person is looking at me, but is really only seeing the wall behind me. His hazel green eyes twinkled slightly, and contrasted against his dark brown hair.
Bloody hell. I’m acting like a bleeding girl.
“I’m going to go change now, so bye,” I said lamely before walking away.
“See you around.”
“I’m going to change now so bye? What the bleeding hell Lexie,” I muttered under my breath as I walked away from James.
After changing I hurried back to my compartment with only a few moments to spare before everyone disembarked towards the castle. I waved to Greg, Alex and Anna smiling as I stepped into a horseless carriage.
The Great Hall, looked beautiful as always. I walked quickly to the Ravenclaw table, settling myself close to where the new first years were to sit.
Soon the sound of idle chatter filled the hall and I found my mind drifting. The sound of the great hall doors interrupted my silent musings. I turned to see several nervous-to-the-point-of-vomiting first years.
As each first year was sorted in turn, all I could think of was the fact that James Potter looked at me today, and spoke to me.
Things were definitely going to change.
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