Chapter 3 : Just Chillin'.
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Mr Muller gets hastily to his feet. “We don’t have any spare desks, but not to worry, I’ll just get—”
Rose waves her hand. “We’re good on the floor,” she says, and parks herself in the middle of the aisle, between my seat and Gemma Hutcheson’s. Scorpius shrugs and follows suit, sitting on the floor beside Henry. Rose turns to me suddenly, extending a hand. “Afternoon. And who might you be?”
“Adelaide Crosby, and this is Georgia Solomon.”
“Pleased to meet you,” she says cheerfully, pumping my hand. “So, do you guys have houses here?”
“Yep. Kemp, Marsden, Pompallier and Williams. Best one’s Kemp, by the way.”
“Really? And how are people sorted into their houses?”
“We have this piece of pou—greenstone,” I correct myself, “And it turns the colour of the house you’re meant to be in when you hold it.”
“So does each house have specific characteristics?”
“Core values,” I say, nodding. “Kemp is determination, Marsden is justice, Pompallier is ambition and Williams is integrity. You’ll be placed into a house tonight, I think.”
“Determination, justice, ambition and integrity. That’s nothing like Hogwarts. Well, apart from the justice one, that sounds like Hufflepuff.”
“Williams and Marsden were both founded by Hufflepuffs,” I offer. “But they didn’t want a reputation like Hufflepuff for their houses.”
“That’s fair enough. Hufflepuff is…well, I shouldn’t really say that, it’s mean—but Hufflepuff are seen as, well, the rejects. Not smart enough for Ravenclaw, not brave enough for Gryffindor, and not self-serving enough for Slytherin.”
“Marsden definitely isn’t the reject house here,” I say. “It’s where all the activists are—the vegetarians, the greenies, the Friends of Elves, the Amnesty International members…you name it.”
“Amnesty International?” Rose repeats.
I wave my hand. “You know, human rights activists. Muggle group.”
“You belong to Muggle groups?”
“Well, yeah. We have heaps of integration with Muggles. Don’t you?”
“Most wizarding families don’t, no.”
“Hmm. Must be because we’re a smaller country. There are hardly any purebloods, most of us are half-bloods, with a few Muggleborns of course.”
“What are you?”
“Half-blood,” I reply. “And you?”
“Same. Dad’s a pureblood, Mum’s a Muggleborn.”
“A Muggleborn? So she is a witch, then?”
I shake my head. “See, here, we’d call you a pureblood. Two wizard parents, pureblood. You. One wizard one Muggle, half-blood. Me. Two Muggle parents, Muggleborn. Georgia.”
“What?” Georgia asks, spinning around at the sound of her name.
“You’re a Muggleborn.”
“Thank you, Captain Obvious.”
“Found another pureblood you can take shopping,” I tell her, nodding at Rose. “Along with Ella and Corwin.”
“I’m not a pureblood,” Rose says.
“Dad a wizard?” Georgia asks.
“Mum a witch?”
“Yes, but she’s Mug—”
“Pureblood,” Georgia says firmly.
“All right,” Rose says, holding her hands up in surrender before glancing over at Mr Muller, nose buried in a pile of essays from Year 10 Wizarding Studies. “Um, do your teachers…teach?”
“Most of the time,” I reply. “I think Mr Muller realised trying to teach us anything today would be a waste of time though. We’ll get back into it tomorrow.”
The bell rings, reverberating through the walls, and we scramble to pack up. Several people squeeze through the doors without a second thought, but the rest of the class remains behind to swarm around Rose and Scorpius.
“What do you guys do for fun around here?” Rose asks us under her breath, looking almost apprehensively at the crowd of people standing around her.
“We go,” Georgia says determinedly, seizing my arm with one of hers and Rose’s with the other, “To the river.”
“Sorry,” Rose calls as we leave the class behind, “Talk to you later? Thanks for getting me out of there,” she adds in an undertone.
“It’s fine,” I reply. “You should see the Japanese students we have coming here sometimes. They’re so quiet and shy and all of a sudden they’ve got twenty-five Year 11s around them asking whether they like New Zealand and to say something in Japanese.”
“Well, at least they can’t ask me the second one.”
“No,” Georgia says, “But they’ll ask you to say stuff in your posh accent.”
“I don’t have a posh accent!”
“You do! Adelaide, she has a posh accent, doesn’t she?”
“Let’s agree to disagree,” Rose suggests. “So, what do you do at this river?”
“Swim,” Georgia says matter-of-factly.
Rose’s eyes light up. “Really? You just get to swim there?”
“Yes,” Georgia replies. “Don’t you swim in England?”
I roll my eyes, asking Rose what I hope is a more sensible question. “Don’t you have any rivers or pools or lakes or anything at Hogwarts?”
“We have a lake,” Rose says wryly, “But it’s practically got icebergs floating in it and has a resident Giant Squid and colony of Grindylows. So no, we don’t swim in it.”
“No squid or Grindylows in the Mahu,” I say cheerfully. “If you wanna grab your togs, just get changed in one of the bathrooms—”
“Togs?” she repeats blankly.
“Togs. Did you bring them?”
“What in the name of Merlin are togs?”
“You know, the things you swim in.”
“Whatever you call them,” Georgia says with a wave of her hand, “We’ll come with you while you find them, and we’ll head down to the river. I think there are still some rapids left over from Saturday.”
We spend the time until dinner either in or beside the river, joined by a large number of classmates interrogating Rose about Hogwarts and life in England. Scorpius has been adopted by Josh and Henry and incorporated into what looks like an improvised game of rugby in the field.
“I think I’m in love,” Georgia declares loftily, flopping into the water and drifting along with the current.
She nods in the direction of the rugby-playing boys.
“You’re in love with half of Year 12?”
“No,” she says in a it’s-so-obvious-who-I’m-talking-about-how-can-you-not-know tone of voice. “Scorpius.”
“Really. And you’ve known him how long?”
Georgia rolls her eyes. “I don’t mean love love. I mean, like, God, he’s sexy. And that accent! Sexier than sexy. I’m nearly dying of the sexiness.”
“If you say sexy one more time I will drown you.”
“But he is! He’s—Oh my God, look over there on the horizon. Do mine eyes decieve me? I do believe it’s Ella and Corwin. Outside! OI NERDS!” she bellows.
“Oi, dumb shit,” Ella returns, dropping her towel on a nearby rock and gracefully swinging her legs into the water. It’s not fair. She’s thin, she’s pretty, she’s brilliant and she’s a pureblood. Lucky for her she’s my friend, otherwise I would hate her guts.
“So,” Georgia says. “What do you think of Mr England McSexypants over there?”
“I love you, Georgia,” I proclaim.
“I know, I know, I’m a comedic genius,” she says calmly, pushing me off her and into the water. “So, Ella.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Ella replies loftily. “I take no notice of such trivial matters, Georgia, you should know that…he’s a bit pale for my liking.”
“A bit pale?” Georgia repeats incredulously.
“George, he’d glow in the dark.”
“I hope they get into Kemp House,” I comment, interrupting before Georgia can take offence.
“They’ll be in Pompallier,” Georgia says gloomily. “There’s no doubt they’ll be in Pompallier, Pompallier himself was a Ravenbeak or an Eaglefoot or whatever the hell it’s called.”
“Ravenclaw,” Ella corrects. “You never know.”
“Yeah,” I point out. “Ella’s a smartarse. Not all the smartarses are in Pompallier.”
“I’m not that much of a smartarse,” Ella objects. “Clara Nicholson’s beating me in Potions and Transfiguration, and Corwin’s top of Magical Theory.”
“Can you hear the violins?” Georgia asks unsympathetically.
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