"Don't worry about it, honey. Who cares if the way you talk is different from everyone else? They can still understand you," My mom said as she attempted to rid herself of my python-like grip off so that I could get my butt on the steaming red train before it departed for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft of Wizardry.
I, however, would have none of it.
"Mom, please! I don't want to go! They're all going to think I'm a stupid American. You know how Europeans think that all Americans are stupid and fat," I wailed, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was probably making a scene, and my mom was probably becoming increasingly embarrassed, but I just didn't care. I would not subject my eleven year old self to ridicule at a freaking boarding school in Scotland.
My mom's voice was laced with irritation. I could tell that she was really starting to panic as the warning whistle went up, signaling three minutes until departure.
"You know that's not all true. Not all Europeans hate Americans." She was struggling; her voice shook, as she attempted to keep its patient tone.
"Remember when we were in France? When we asked that damn bastard where the freaking bathroom was?" I asked, my voice growing more and more hysterical.
"Elaquay! What did I tell you about language! And that was just one person, sweetie. Just please give it a chance. The train is about to leave!!"
She was screeching by now. She tried to pull away from me in a desperate manner, but I wasn't done yet. Hell no. Not even close.
"Why'd we have to move here? Why couldn't I stay in Oregon where I actually belong and go to the wizarding school there?" I asked, hopelessness and anger leaking out of my voice. As I said this, a wave of homesickness crashed over me. I missed Oregon. All of the tall oak and fir trees, the pleasant summers, the rainy springs, the cold and brittle coasts, Crater Lake, the country fair every July, and of course all of my muggle friends I've made in elementary school.
"Because, Jared got a promotion, and it required a move to London. You know this already. Plus, Hogwarts is the best wizarding school in the whole world. You should be thankful, Elaquay! So stop your whining and moaning and get on the train!" She was furious now. And if I fired her up anymore, she would have the ability to snap Medusa’s ego in half. But, I too, acquired a temper.
At that moment, I felt a hatred for my stepfather I never had before. I let go of my mother, and stared up at her angry face, not caring that my face was blotchy and red, with tears smothering my skin.
"I HATE YOU!" I screamed. "I HATE JARED!! I HATE LONDON, I HATE HOGWARTs, AND I HATE THAT DAD HAD TO DIE!!! THEN WE WOULDN'T BE HERE!!!"
Of course, being Elaquay Smithson, my mouth ran before my brain had any say in the matter. I barely had time to see the hurt look on my mother's face before I spun around, grabbed my carriage, and roughly pushed it toward the train, causing my owl Misty to start twittering madly.
"Oh shut your asshole, Misty. I'm not in the mood," I growled at it. Many people stared at me as I charged toward the train. Most of the students were already on board, sticking their heads out of the windows, preparing to wave goodbye to the crying, sickeningly proud parents.
I violently pushed my carriage up the jagged steps of the train, not caring that I looked like the snotty, bratty eleven year old girl that I was. Once I reached the top, a man in a uniform mumbled something about taking care of both the owl and the carriage. I sneered before handing it over, and shoving past him, only to be surrounded by compartments.
As I walked the aisle, I noticed how much fancier European trains are. You normally don't get your own compartments in American trains. And secondly, ever single damn compartment was full.
Not one single empty one. All of the students were sitting, chatting animatedly with one another, or playing some strange wizard game. Some even had the tact to actually look up and acknowledge my presence. Not that it was great or anything. They were probably studying my all American attire: jeans and a NYC sweater. How appealing.
I hurriedly wiped the rest of the tears from my face. To make matters worse, the train gave a lurch and I fell forward, my face hitting the floor. Rather hard, may I add.
I sat up, and rubbed my forehead, which seemed to be swelling up under my touch. I cursed a mother load of profanities. My mom always told me that I needed to wash out my mouth with soap. She blames it on modern television.
To my horror, my ears filled with raucous laughter, followed by a drawling voice that made me cringe. To make matters worse, the voice sported a British accent.
"How many of you bloodtraitors are there? I honestly don't think that this school can handle another Weasley. Are you one of the spawn of the Potty-Weasel hybrids?"
I didn’t know what the hell this person was talking about, but it sounded pretty damn insulting to me.
I stood up to face my bully and found myself yelling at his face, "Excuse me? Who are you calling a hybrid?"
The boy had a pale face, and a long pointed chin. His blonde hair was sleeked back, and his eyes were cold, with a slimy undertone. He had a disgusting smile spread across his face, and he wouldn't look a quarter as tough if it weren't for his three huge cronies, whom I swear could be part troll.
The boy scoffed at me.
"My mistake, then. You're not one of the hybrids. You're..." He eyed me up and down, his eyes glinting.
He said it with so much venom that I actually flinched. He threw his greasy head back, and started laughing. His cronies were guffawing with him.
"An American and a mudblood, no doubt. Why aren't you a fat bimbo? Already got bastric gypass surgery?" He spat at me.
"It’s gastric bypass, you idiot! And I think the only ones in need of gastric bypass surgery are your fat-ass troll friends there," I snapped at him. I probably shouldn’t have said that. My words sobered them up; their smiles slipped off of their faces.
The boy pulled out his wand and pointed it at me. "You better watch yourself, mudblood. My father knows special ways to deal with mudbloods in a way that would make even your mutant mum shed her fat rolls."
I eyed the wand wearily, and started to fidget, my heart pumping in panic. I had no knowledge on wand use. But I wasn't about to back down without a fight.
“Fine. Curse with that thing. I’d like to see you try,” I sneered.
Then another a voice broke through the tense silence A British voice of course, but this one was much warmer, friendlier, and female.
"Having fun, Malfoy? Of course I wouldn't have expected anything less of you. Mum and dad however did mention how much of a twitchy little ferret your father was."
I spun around to see a girl standing there, about my height, maybe an inch or so taller. She had long curly, fiery red hair, about the same shade as mine, a very pretty and determined face, and big mischievous blue eyes that twinkled. So the boy’s name is Malfoy? Hahaha. What a stupid name.
Malfoy's eye twitched. I slowly backed away while he was distracted.
"Anything to say to that Malfoy? Oh I know! Why don't you start calling me all of the typical Malfoy insults? Blood traitor, spawn of a mudblood, disgrace to the wizarding world....go on then. Let's hear it," The girl taunted, a sly smile creeping on her lips.
Malfoy glared venomously at her and spat, "Useless little hybrid...."
"Of course. I knew it," The girl responded smoothly, still smiling. "Why don't you beat it and come up with something a bit more original? Then you and I can talk."
Malfoy looked murderous, but he motioned for his cronies to follow him, before he turned around and made his way down the aisle.
I glared after him, realizing that I had just made a new enemy.
"Sorry about that. Malfoy's a tosser. Usually, it's best to ignore people like that, but you can have a swipe at him once and while." Her voice was fluent and eloquent. Proper almost. But it had a slight mischievous edge to it.
I faced her, and knew that I should be thankful that someone else was being nice to me, but I felt an irrational anger. I wanted to fight my own battles. I hated when people defended me.
"Next time, let me handle it myself. I was doing just fine," I remarked coldly.
I started to turn around and walk away.
"Hey, wait! What's your name? If you don't have a place to sit, you can sit with me and my cousins in our compartment," she said.
I turned around, and stared at her, contemplating if she was being genuine or not.
She seemed genuine enough.
"Fine," I said, defeated.
I followed her toward the other end, stepping into another train cart.
"My name is Rose Weasley by the way," she chimed, smiling at me, her eyes twinkling. She extended a hand.
I took it and dared myself to smile back, though it felt more like a grimace. "Elaquay Smithson," I answered.
Now I see why Malfoy had mistaken me for a Weasley. She and I had the exact same hair color, and stature. I guess most of her family must look like this.
"Say, are you from somewhere else? Your accent is different," She asked, curiously. I cringed, but, to my relief, she didn't sound judgmental or demeaning.
"Yeah. I'm from America," I answered, rather flatly. I suddenly felt even more self conscious than I already was, standing here, my red hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, my grey NYC sweater hanging limply to my small body, and my jeans ripped and dirty.
Then there was Rose Weasley, the perfect British girl with curly red hair nicely clipped back in a pin, a white blouse and a skirt, and nice shiny shoes. The epitome of perfection.
"That's so cool. I don't think Hogwarts has ever had permanent American students before. However, I read in the recent edition of Hogwarts, A History that in recent developments, foreign interactions are supposed to be encouraged and emphasized ..."
"Um...what?" I asked, feeling absolutely stupid.
She laughed it off.
"Oh nothing. You'll learn soon enough. You probably don't want to hear me rambling about stuff no one cares about anyways. Ahh, here we are."
She stopped at a compartment, and opened it. I gazed inside to see two other people in there, both boys.
"Elaquay, let me introduce you to my cousins. This is Albus Potter, he's a first year like me, and I'm assuming you as well."
Albus had jet black hair that went all over the place. He also had round glasses, and emerald green eyes. He looked excited, but a bit scared as he waved to me.
"That is..." She started, pointing to the other boy, but he cut her off.
"Oi, Rosie, you know I'm fully capable of introducing myself to the young lady."
I gazed at him. He had hair similar to Albus's, messy and shaggy and uncontrollable, but it was a shade lighter. His skin was also tanner, and he had a splash of freckles across his nose. His eyes were a warm brown color, and he had the most mischievous smile I have ever seen in my life. He just radiated with trouble and deviousness.
"My name is James Sirius Potter, Order of Merlin Third Class, Second year, and brother to this git Albus, and cousin to this lovely redhead, Rose Weasley." He gave a mock bow and I rose an eyebrow, trying to fight the smile that was creeping on my lips.
Albus shot him a look and Rose rolled her eyes. She took a seat next to Albus and motioned for me to take the seat opposite of her.
"We have a lot of other cousins, but most of them aren't old enough to attend Hogwarts yet. We do have Victoire, but it’s not like she’d actually talk to us…" She mused, a twinkle in her eye.
"Hey! Wait a minute. She didn't go bonkers," Albus pointed out, his green eyes widening at me.
"Excuse me?" I asked, feeling a bit offended at the statement for some reason.
"S-Sorry.what I meant is that…you doesn't know?" He asked, astounded, and a bit red from embarrassment.
Rose rolled her eyes and ranted, "Not everyone knows, Albus. Even you barely know much about it. They said that we have to wait until we’re older to hear the whole story."
"Pfft. Whatever. We can just get the whole story out of Ted. He knows all about it," James said, the twinkle in his eye increasing. I couldn't help but smile when he spoke. It was contagious.
"What the hell are you all talking about?" I asked, cringing at my own voice. I sounded awfully rude.
"Ahh! So my suspicions are correct. She is American," James said slyly, giving a friendly laugh.
"Um…yeah,” I said, feeling a bit awkward. “So, what are you talking about?”
They looked surprised for a second. But Rose continued, "Have you ever heard the story about Harry Potter?"
"Harry...who?" I asked rather stupidly.
James sighed playfully, and looked at me in the eye.
"We're not sure if we want to tarnish her uncorrupted ears. It's a rather scary story, especially for a young lady like her," He said teasingly. He then tossed a cheeky wink at me.
Hmmm… I like this kid.
I grinned back, and said in my best imitation of a British voice that I could, causing much laughter, "Bring it on, you wanker."
This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
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