Chapter 1 : A Little Duck and a Silly Love Song
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Sunlight shimmers across the vast room. It’s a peaceful summer morning, the same as the day before. But today, it’s different. Today, it is the first of September.
Reflecting off the window screen, light cascades across the face of a young girl. She stirs as the light reaches her eyes, finally awakening to the new day. The Day. It takes a few moments for her to gain her boundaries, but when she does, her bright blue eyes gleam in excitement. Hopping out of bed, she sprints to the bathroom. For once, this early morning rush was not to relieve her bladder; she was ready for today. The Day. While turning the water on to a scalding hot temperature, she quickly scampers into the shower, tossing her long, dark brown hair behind her as she goes. She was going to be extra clean today because today was not just any day. Today was The Day.
A few minutes and half a bottle of conditioner later, she exits the bathroom, leaving a lavender scent trailing behind her. She walks over to her closet, where she bites her lip. What would she wear? What outfit could possibly be good enough for today? The Day. She stands there shivering, trying to make what would possibly be the most important decision of her life. Okay, maybe not her life. That would be a little melodramatic, she decided as she finally caved to her shaking limbs and grabbed the blue sundress with yellow flowers on it.
“Miaaa!” hollered her mother in a singsong voice, “are you up yet?”
“Yes, Mum,” Mia dutifully replied.
“Remember that you still need to pack!”
“Shit!” Mia swore under her breath as she raced across the room, grabbed things at random, and stuffed them into the maroon and yellow trunk with a giant H emblazoned upon it. She had totally spaced this morning, thinking that all her packing was already done the night before, like it had been every other year. This would happen today, not any other day, today. The Day.
Ages later, or perhaps it was really only minutes – Mia never claimed to be excellent at keeping time – she finally had everything in the trunk. She heaved a great sigh of relief, seeing as she didn’t even have to sit on her trunk this year to get everything to fit.
Great. Now it was time for hair.
“AMELIA!” her mother screeched, literally screeched, up the stairs.
Oh no, thought Mia, this can’t be good.
“Mia it’s time to go!”
Mia glanced at her clock. Nine forty-five. Why was Mum freaking out? She still had plenty of time.
“It’s only fifteen minutes until the train leaves! We need to leave now!”
Fifteen minutes…oh yeah, Mia ran a hand through her still damp hair, remembering that Claribel busted her alarm clock when she visited two weeks ago. The clock had been an hour behind ever since.
“I’m coming! Relax,” Mia ensured her mother as she glanced in the mirror, grabbed her wand on her nightstand, and gave it a quick wave. Not exactly what she was planning. Hair always looked best when it was done without magic. Nevertheless, it was time to go, so Mia gave one more flick of her wand and exited the room, wavy chestnut hair streaming down her back.
She was ready. Today was The Day. The day she was going back to Hogwarts, for the last time.
“Padfoot, waaaaake uuuup.”
Groaning and mumbling is heard as a young man yanks up the covers, black hair completely disappearing behind a blue comforter.
“Come on Padfoot! Today’s The Day!” exclaims an excited to the point of annoying James Potter.
The young man, Padfoot, sighs contentedly.
“What!” yells Sirius, exasperated, opening his light gray eyes to see that his are mere inches away from a pair of hazel one’s, which are gleaming with excitement.
“AGGHHH!” yells Sirius, falling out of bed in a tumble of blankets, sheets, pillows, and teenage boys. Now entirely awake, he asks, “Are you bleeding mad? You do not just stare at a person when trying to wake them! Imagine having to see your ugly face first thing of the day.”
“Ah, you don’t mean that,” James tells Sirius as he untangles himself from a particularly clingy bed sheet and walks over the body length mirror in the corner of the room. “I think I look rather dashing this morning myself,” he says, running is hand through his messy black hair and straightening his rounded glasses.
“Hmf!” Sirius snorts, failing to suppress a bark of laughter.
“What? You don’t agree? You don’t think that this will finally be the year that Lily finally falls for my brazen good-looks and natural charm?”
“Mate, just because you made Head Boy does not mean that the Lovely Lily will even give you a second glance, unless of course that second glance is to glare loathingly in your direction,” replies Sirius who gathers his morning attire and proceeds to walk out of the room.
Unperturbed, James bounces after Sirius into the long hallway. “Mum made us special breakfast today, with waffles and bacon and eggs and strawberries. Don’t you love waffles and strawberries? She said that a special day like today called for a special meal to start off The Day, but I’m pretty sure she was just sad and trying to make up to us the fact that her and Dad couldn’t be there to see us off. She was really looking forward to it, but she told me to tell you she loves you, give you a big hug, tell you to write her every week, and…something else, but I can’t remember it…”
Bugger, thought Sirius as he meandered past the doors, James prancing back in forth in front of him, when did this hallway get so bleeding long.
“Oh, yeah!” James exclaimed, eyes widening. “She wanted me to wake you up by ten o’clock.”
Sirius finally passed his best friend and slinked into the bathroom. Sighing with relieve, he began to close the door on James’ anxious face.
“Great, thanks, Prongs. Now will you leave me alone, or were you planning on following me into the shower as well?”
“Wait, wait! You better hurry because it’s already ten forty-five! The train leaves in fifteen minutes!”
Sirius gritted his teeth in frustration, and James offered him a placating smile.
No, beating James would have to wait until later, Sirius decided slamming the door.
Blonde eyelashes. Blonde eyelashes. Blonde eyelashes suck, thought Claribel Collins as she prepared for her day. The Day.
It was one small thing: blonde eyelashes. They always got this way during summer, ever since she was five years old. She utterly hated blonde eyelashes, for they made it impossible to walk out of the house without wearing mascara, which is why that even on a humid, eighty-five degree day in southern Wales, she was still forced to waste valuable flirting minutes to put on pointless makeup that would wash off eventually anyway.
Blonde eyelashes. It was by far not the hugest flaw in her personal appearance, not that she was complaining; she’d always liked her medium length blonde hair with smartly cut bangs. But for some reason, the fact that she had blonde eyelashes for five out of the twelve months of the year bugged her to no end.
“Bloody blonde eyelashes,” she said, finally pulling her eyelashes through an eyelash comb.
Let’s get this straight. Claribel was not someone who was always all consumed with her personal appearance. She just wanted to look her best today because today was The Day, and if someone happened to notice that she was looking particularly gorgeous today, so be it. Claribel ran a brush through her golden locks one more time, glancing at her outfit in the mirror. She has worked particular hard to pick out today’s green plaid skirt and white blouse and hoped it wasn’t obvious that she was trying to hard.
“Claire,” called her little sister, Annabel, “Mummy says it’s time for you to leave. She said Daddy called her to say that the morning traffic is brutal. Actually, it’s probably so brutal that you shouldn’t go back to school at all.”
Claribel smiled as Annabel came sprinting into her room.
“That brutal, really?” asked Claribel, picking up the nine-year-old in a massive hug.
“Yes, horribly brutal.”
“And you’re not just saying that because you don’t want me to go back to Hogwarts?”
“Why would I do that?” Annabel batted her own blonde eyelashes, which somehow looked impossibly lovely on her face, gazing up at her older sister innocently.
Who taught her that look? Claribel thought, grinning as she imagined all the trouble this kid could get out of with that puppy dog pout. She only got to see her sister for three months out of the year, and her biggest regret was the fact that she missed a lot of Annabel’s growing up over the years.
“Because you’re going to miss me like crazy when I leave,” Claribel told the Shirley Temple look-a-like.
Annabel only nodded as she pressed herself closer to her sister’s chest. Moving toward her bed, Claribel sat down, placing Annabel on her lap. Together, the two sat in the sun soaked room for a few minutes that both wished could have lasted hours. But it couldn’t. Today was The Day.
Heaving Annabel off her, Claribel led the way to the kitchen, waving her wand behind her. The fully packed trunk in the corner of the room slowly floated along behind the fair-haired sisters.
“Honey, it’s almost a quarter to eleven,” Claribel’s mother called up the stairs as the girls appeared at the top. “Good, but where’s your stuff?”
The floating trunk then came into view. Claribel watched her mother sigh and then smile. It had been hard enough for her family to get used to the fact that she was a witch, and when she turned seventeen last year and was finally allowed to use magic outside of school, her family was shocked by what she could do with the simple flick of her wand.
Not that magic was easy for her; she had always felt that it was harder for her being Muggle-born and not having the advantages that pureblood wizards had. Claribel had always worked her but off in classes, learning as much magic as she possibly could, because she would hate to disappoint her family, especially her father, who had had high hopes that she would take up the family tradition and become a doctor like he was. Growing up, Claribel had always wanted be a doctor like her dad, but mostly because she knew it was so important to him.
When she received her acceptance letter to Hogwarts, everything changed. Claribel cared far less about far less about take your daughter to work day and far more about the limitless possibilities of the magical world. While Claribel knew that her family still loved and supported her, she couldn’t help but feel that she’d let them down simply by leaving them to enter this new world.
Climbing down the stairs with Annabel now on her back, Claribel gave her mum one last hug.
“I love you, sweetie,” her mum whispered, suddenly out of breathe. The moment was obviously hard for any mother, sending your eldest child off for their last year at school.
“I love you too, Mum,” Claribel replied.
“What about me?” Annabel asked indignantly.
“I love you too, Little Duck.” Claribel told her sister, using Annabel’s favorite nickname. Annabel giggled, pushing Claribel towards the door.
Claribel stood her ground, waiting. Annabel kept trying to push until finally conceding. “I love you too, Miss Hen,” she said with a giggle as Claribel allowed her body to be guided out the door. Giving her sister one last grin, she closed the door and disappeared on the spot.
A young man of seventeen peered out his bedroom window for what he knew would be the last time. His mother wanted him to return home next summer, but he knew that he couldn’t do that to her. He had been a nuisance on his parents for far too long.
Remus Lupin sighed, picking up his trunk and making his way out the door without so much as a backward glance. Coming up on the kitchen, Remus could smell buttermilk pancakes, his favorite meal. Remus loved all breakfast foods, and his mum said they were easy to make, so she made them as often as she could. She was always doing stuff like that: trying to make Remus’s life better in all the ways she could, no matter how small. Remus knew she blamed herself for his condition, though Remus knew she was guiltless. It was hard on her, but she never stopped being the best mother she could possibly be.
Forcing a smile, Remus walked into the kitchen. His mother’s eyes lit up as she turned around at the noise.
“I made your favorite,” she told him. “It’s a big day today!”
“Yeah, it smells great. Thanks Mum.” Remus replied, dutifully giving his mother a good morning hug. She always insisted on hugs for greetings, at any time of the day.
“Goodness, you’re all packed and ready, and it’s barely ten o’clock. You’re not anxious to get away from me, are you?”
“Of course not Mum. My goal is to not be late for the train at least one year.”
“Oh, everyone’s always late. That’s the whole point,” she chides him good-naturedly.
Remus laughs, replying, “That may be true, but I am still trying to start off my seventh year to the best of my ability, starting with punctuality.” He pulls out a chair, and his mum sets a large stack of pancakes in front of him. He eats his last meal at home slowly, savoring each bite, as his mother goes through the checklist.
“All your books are packed?”
“All your robes? Uniforms?”
“Your cauldron? Potions kit? Dress robes?”
“Check. Check. Check.”
Still skeptical, she walks over to his trunk, opens it, and ransacks the whole thing.
When Remus finally finishes his last bite of pancakes, she closes the trunk, now assured that her son will be missing nothing. Remus glances at the clock. It read a quarter to eleven. His mother also looks to where his eyes were drawn, drawing the same conclusion.
“Time to go,” she told him walking toward the door, putting on her shoes and coat.
“Wait, you’re not coming too? Are you?” Remus asked.
“Well, of course I am,” she reprimanded him. “It’s not every day my only son goes off for his last year of school. What kind of mother do you take me for?”
“The best,” Remus answered, gathering his coat and shoes as well.
Together, the two left the house and closed the door.
God I hate silence, thought Megara Rivera, it’s so bloody loud.
She turned on the car stereo, hoping that the one station her old clunker of a station wagon could actually receive wasn’t playing any polka music today.
Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs
And what's wrong with that?
“Ugggghhh!” groaned Megara. “Everything!”
I'd like to know 'cause here I go again.
I love you
Oh, wait, it repeats. Over. And over. And over again. Yippee.
“Bloody hell! You have got to be kidding me.” Megara complained steely. She hated all these bleeding love songs, which always seemed to be the only thing on the radio. Why was every girl so obsessed with having a boyfriend and being in love? What ever happened to feminism? It’s ridiculous. This song in particular she decided was horrific. All it kept saying over and over and over and over…oh wait, here come the chorus again.
Megara turned off the radio in protest. Picking up the speed, she blazed through traffic and parked in the lot at King’s Cross Station at ten forty-five.
“Shanti! Get out of the bathroom. There are other people living in this house!”
“Just a few more minutes!”
The young man sighed, slinking down to sit on the floor next to the door of the bathroom. He knew that a few minutes could translate to a few hours in girl language. The boy of seventeen had warm brown skin and fine black hair, which he ran a hand through impatiently. There was only an hour until they had to catch the train.
Shockingly, a couple minutes later, his twin sister finally exited the bathroom. She looked down hall before spotting him sitting casually on the ground.
“What are you doing down there?” she asked him patronizingly.
“Waiting,” he replied nonplussed. Having a twin sister has always been a blast growing up. The two had been inseparable until, of course, they had hit their teenage years. Shanti, being a girl, had matured quite faster then himself, yet in the past couple years, he had definitely caught up to her, both physically and emotionally, despite Shanti’s disbelief. “But I was predicting that the Nile would dry up before you’d leave the bathroom for someone else to use.”
“Oh, the big, smart Raven claw thinks he knows everything. Give a girl a break. Today’s not just any day. Today’s The Day! I have to look my best.” Shanti told him, spinning so that he could admire he brand new white dress. He had to admit to himself –with her dark hair and skin – she did look pretty good today. Unfortunately for him, this was not a good thing, since the first topic among his friends on the train today would be how hot his sister looked.
“Why? So that you can impress people that have know you since you were eleven? And knock off the Ravenclaw jokes. They are not funny, and you’re being a little hypocritical considering you’re biggest bloody Gryffindor in the whole school.”
“Thank you, I’ll take that as a compliment, and didn’t you say you were in dire need to use the bathroom, Nike?” she asked him with a smirk picking up at the corners of her mouth.
“I told you not to call me that,” he told her with a sour face.
“Well, why not, everyone else gets to call you that?” she asked indignantly.
“If, by everyone else, you mean the marauders and my friends when they’re taking the mickey out of me, they get to use that nickname because if they knew how much it gets under my skin, they’d just call me that even more. Besides, they’re bigger than you.”
“Fine, Nikesh, but I still don’t get why you don’t like that nickname in the first place. It’s kind of cool.”
“Would you like to be named after a shoe?” he asked. Not waiting for a response, “I didn’t think so, and mum hates it too.”
“Mum hates everything that’s not the least bit Indian.” Shanti told him, shoving him into the bathroom. “Now shower and get ready. I’m not taking no nasty smelling brother with to King’s Cross. It’s hard enough taking a nasty looking one.”
Shanti shut the door on him, making sure that she got the last word. Nikesh exhaled loudly. Shanti always knew how to annoy him. Digging at his looks! Sheesh! They were twins for crying out loud! He was so ready to be back at school, where not only not only three hundred other students separated his sister and him, but also House differences. Many other siblings were put in the same house. The fact that Shanti and him weren’t had bothered Nikesh for the first couple years at Hogwarts, but, as they grew apart, he began to appreciate the distance.
“Nike! Get your ugly arse down here!”
It wasn’t too difficult to figure out why.
“The train leaves in fifteen minutes!”
“Lily Evans, Head Girl.”
“Head Girl, Lily Evans.”
“Miss Lily Evans, Head Girl.”
It all just rolls off the tongue, thought Lily looking in the mirror. She straightened her badge and her black robes. She had intentionally gotten to King’s Cross extra early this morning to change into her robes. The Head Girl had to look her best today. The Day.
She has been ecstatic the day she got her Hogwarts letter this year, containing a bright and shiny Head badge. Finally, after working her butt off for seven years, she was Head Girl. Her parents were so proud, Head Girl being something that even Muggles could understand. They just dropped her off at the station five minutes ago after a very tearful goodbye. This morning hadn’t exactly run smoothly for the Evans’ family…
“Petunia, where’s my light blue blouse?” Lily asked, walking into her older sister’s room.
Petunia was still lying under the covers when she responded, “You mean my light blue blouse? Oh no, you are not taking my clothes with you to the freak school you go to.”
“Petunia,” chided Lily, “you’re supposed to be up and ready by now! Mum said that you had to come with to see me off to school.” Lily really couldn’t care less about the fact that her sister was stealing her clothes and claiming them as her own; she did care about the fact that her sister, who she only got to see three months out of the year, didn’t even want to say goodbye as she was leaving for her last year of school.
“Hmf,” snorted Petunia, “It’s the same every year. Mum cries. Dad tries not to cry. You all hug. You and all the other freaks walk through the wall. You get on the train to freak school.”
“Come on, Tuney. It’s my last year. The least you could do is come say goodbye.”
Petunia flinched at the mention of her childhood nickname. She sat up in her bed and waved. “Goodbye.” She then proceeded to lie back down, pull the covers over her head, and snore dramatically.
Hurt, but not altogether surprised, Lily whispered, “Goodbye,” and left the room.
Lily sighed as she gave one last look in the mirror. Ten-forty five. Her friends should be getting here any minute now. She’d been waiting for weeks to hear from them. Not only that, but she’d finally learn who was going to be Head Boy with her this year. She was crossing her fingers for Remus, who was her fellow Gryffindor prefect and a close friend.
With a final toss of her long red hair and one last straighten of her Head Girl badge Lily marched out of the room. She was ready because today wasn’t just any day.
Today was The Day. The day she was going back to Hogwarts, for the last time.
Author’s Note: Hi everybody! First off, I like to thank you for even reading this chapter. This is my first story on HPFF. I’ve been addicted to reading it ever since HP7 came out, and I needed a new outlet for all my Harry Potter love.
I know that this chapter is a little scattered, but I really wanted to introduce my main characters in this little “prologue” I guess you could say. Please tell me what you think of the story, and I’ll try to respond to every review. I’m busy with school, but I’ll do my best to update as often as I can.
Thanks so much J
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