Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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P.S. There was once a woman who lived in England who created an amazing universe with her creative genius, a pen, and a bunch of napkins. I am not that woman. I merely play around in this universe.
I took a deep breath, attempting to get my racing pulse to slow itself down. I stared at my reflection in the large mirror that was on the wall of this closet.
Yeah, I have a walk in closet. It's practically the size of my old room. In fact my new room is about the size of the house I used to live in. I bet you're wondering how this drastic change came to be. No? You're not? Too, bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.
It's one of those timeworn stories. Poor girl marries rich man, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. The only snag in this fairy tale? Me. The daughter of said poor girl. I pretty much got the short end of the stick in this whole deal. The only one. You see, I was very happy with my old life, with my old friends, in Oregon. Oh yeah, Richard? My new stepfather? He's British. So when my mom married him, we had to move all the way out here, practically halfway around the world.
Seems like my mom has a thing for English guys. My dad was from here too. I've never been outside of America before now though. I didn't have any family on my dad's side that I knew of, so there really wasn't any reason.
Now, or in a couple of minutes anyway, I'm leaving for my new school. Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yeah, I'm kind of a witch. I have a wand to do magic with, I can fly on a broom, I make potions, I can even draw bunnies out of hats. I don't know why muggles are so obsessed with that trick though. There wasn't even a spell for it. I made it up, to amuse my mom, back when we still got along.
But seriously? Who names anything "Hogwarts?" That's like the ugliest name I've ever heard. I don't care if it's famous, its still hideous.
I turned away from the mirror, after a final stab at taming my dark curls, when I heard my room door open.
"Sweetheart? Are you there?" My mom.
I walked out of the closet, my face composed. "In here Mom." I saw the flicker of dismay on her face, before she covered it up.
"Honey, is that what you're wearing to the station?"
I looked down at my torn black skinnies, the black stilettos, and the off the shoulder white shirt I had on, before shrugging. "Yeah." I was not going to dress to impress all those British snobs sure to be on the train. Which I'm still in shock about. A train? How quaint and backwards is that? What happened to, you know, MAGIC?! And the ride lasts 8 hours. Is there really no alternative?
My mom looked resigned. I mean, she couldn't really do anything could she? This is how I've dressed for years. These are my favorite jeans. She never had a problem before now. She can't very well start now. What reason is she gonna give? That we're rich now? That we have an image to uphold? As if. She's the one that kept saying how her marriage to Dickhead wouldn't and/or shouldn't affect my life.
"Are you girls ready to go?" Speak of the devil. I have to give him credit though, he didn't even bat an eyelash at my cloths and makeup.
I just nodded. I try keep my interactions with Richard to a minimum. That's another thing I don't understand. Who names their kid Richard, knowing that the most common nickname is Dick? That's just cruel.
We walked to the car in silence. Oswald was carrying my trunk for me. Ozzie's one of the butlers. Yeah, I said one of. Richard got like a million servants. Ozzie's my favorite though. I mean Oswald? How bomb is that? That is a name any parent could be proud of choosing. And he's an house elf. They're so cute and adorable!
Oh yeah, Richard's a wizard. It's strange, cuz my dad was too. I guess its not just British guys my mom has a thing for, they have to be wizards too.
I was holding Mimsy's cage. My owl is very temperamental, and the last thing I needed right now wass for her to take offense because I was letting other people carry her, instead of doing it myself.
30 minutes later we were standing at King's Cross. Apparently, there's a platform here to get to the train that's gonna take me to Hogwarts. The catch? I have to walk through a brick wall to get to it. Fun.
I swear, if this is a joke, Dickhead will regret it. I'm not bragging when I say I'm a powerful witch. And I wasn't top of my class at Evergreen Academy because I stood around doing nothing. Although I didn't really have to do much of anything to be honest. I kinda have a photographic memory. That, combined with my natural power, means that I have no trouble at all with school. It rocks.
I opened my eyes. I closed them when the wall was getting close. I couldn't bring myself to run at a wall with my eyes open.
Wow. I looked around at all the people. This place is packed. There're all sorts of tearful reunions and farewells all around me. Parents are clinging to their children, especially the small ones who look like this might be their first year away from home. I remember my first year when Mom almost climbed into the Floo with me. Definitely not like that anymore.
"Well. Have a nice year Graciella." Looks like Dick made it through the barrier. Mom had some important shopping to take care of. She left the house at the same time as us, saying there was no need for her to come too. The only reason Richard's here is cuz someone needs to help me find my way to the train.
"You too I guess. Bye Richard." I turned away with that, pushing my trolley ahead of me towards the giant scarlet train. I didn't look back until I'd climbed onto the train, Mimsy's cage in my hand, and my trunk shrunken down so it fit into my leather messenger bag.
I couldn't stop my eyes from widening slightly when I saw that he was still standing there, hands in his pockets. He didn't leave until I gave him a small wave. Odd.
I examined my surroundings. I was standing at one end of an aisle that extended the length of the car. I pushed my way past the crowd of students, looking for an empty compartment. There weren't any in this car, so I continued onto the next, which was much less crowded.
I made my way down aisle way, looking through the windows of each compartment as I passed it. I stopped suddenly as the occupants of one caught my eye. There were five kids in there, three guys and two girls. Four of them were surrounding the smallest girl. They looked like they were 12 or 13. I sighed. I hate bullies. They're so stupid.
I put Mimsy in the empty compartment opposite the one that had caught my attention before sliding open the door and slipping inside. Nobody noticed my entrance, busy as they were, watching the interaction between the two girls.
"-dirty halfblood. You shouldn't be here. You don't deserve to even be in our presence." I shook my head as the thickset ugly black haired brat hissed. The redhead spoke before I could though.
"Yeah Goyle. My family's a disgrace. The whole world just looks down on us doesn't it?" Wow. That's the most sarcastic tone I've ever heard out of a kid that young. Excepting my gracious self of course. "And you must be so proud of your parents. How's Azkaban treating your dad Ivy?" I snorted as the girl (Goyle?) turned a shade of red I didn't think was humanly possible. It went unnoticed though. I was starting to get kind of annoyed though. I don't really appreciated being overlooked.
And now looked like a good time to intervene. The older kids had pulled out their wands and were pointing them at the redhead, who still looked defiant.
"Didn't your parents ever teach you to pick on people your own size?" They spun around. Their wands were now pointed at me. I was still leaning on the door frame, twirling my wand lazily.
"Who are you?" I looked at the kid who'd spoken. Honestly, they all looked the same. Massive and stupid. All brawn and absolutely no brain. You'd think they'd have been wary. Nope. They were now sneering at me. I think they honestly though they could beat me, just because there were four of them. My appearance probably didn't help. I'm short and I have this mass of uncontrollable black curls, grey eyes, what has been described as a "pixie-like face" (which is an euphemism for having a pointy chin) and dimples. Yeah, dimples. Nobody takes me seriously. Ever. It sucks.
I looked past them and winked at the small redhead. She'd seemed a bit worried, but now she relaxed.
"Stupefy!" I deflected the spell with a careless flick. Time to take care of these morons. I straightened, before waving my wand in a wide sweeping motion, freezing the four older students.
I grinned at the redhead. "Hey. My name's Ella. Ella Thomas. Nice to meet you."
She grinned back at me. "Lily Potter. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Thanks for the save. It would have been really embarrasing to be beaten by these" she gestured to the frozen kids standing between us, "but I don't have a wand yet, cuz I'm not going to Hogwarts until next year. I was just looking for my cousins to say goodbye, when these goons trapped me."
"Potter, huh? That why they seemed to have a grudge?"
She sighed, nodding. I felt my grin transform into what I knew was a pretty evil looking smirk. "Whatdya say we teach these idiots a lesson babe?"
Lily looked at me a bit cautiously, before an evil smirk of her own stole across her face. Dude, this girl is like a smaller red-headed mini-me. I like her already.
"What did you have in mind?"
I looked at the four kids appraisingly. I had an idea for the three guys. They seemed like they were the type who strove "manly" and "tough." Goyle was just a bitch. She used other people's fear of her, and her little cronies, to bully them. I was going to make laughingstocks of them.
"Close your eyes. I want you to get the full impact." Lily followed my order, her big brown eyes sparkling. I took a second to recall the spells I needed for what I had in mind.
"Okay. Open 'em Potter." Her eyes flew open. She stared for a moment before doubling over in hysterics. I'd given the boys long, platinum blonde hair, pulled up in pigtails, and makeup worthy of a slut, as well as transfiguring their clothes so they were now wearing white button-up shirts with the ends tied at their ribs, so their pudgy stomachs were on display, tiny plaid skirts, fishnets and what my best friend called "hooker boots," black leather with sky-high heels. It was priceless. As for Goyle… Well, I thought I'd let everyone see her true personality. She now had the snout of a dog, as well as doggie ears and a tail, and abnormally hairy arms and legs. All of them had bully written across their foreheads in bright red Everlasting Ink. It was impossible to miss. The clincher? I'd modified all the spells so that the only person who could reverse them was me, so nobody would be able to fix them. I figured I'd turn them back in a week or two, enough time for them to learn their lesson. I doubt they'll mess with me again.
I spoke to them now. "If you don't want to be stuck like this for the rest of your lives, I advise you don't go complaining to anyone." I removed the body-bind curses on them. "Now scram." They scrammed. I laughed, before checking my watch and swearing. There were only 10 minutes until the train left. I grabbed Lily and rushed out of the compartment.
"Come on kid, let's get you back to your parents." She grabbed my wrist and twisted it so she could see the time for herself, and swore. I didn't stop walking but I did swat the back of her head with a mild, "Watch your language."
She glared up at me incredulously. "You just said the exact same thing!"
I smirked down at her. "Yeah, well I'm older. And my mom doesn't care. Can you same thing about yours?"
She snorted before dropping the issue. That's what I thought.
We reached the end of the car and jumped off the train together. I looked down at her to ask her if she knew where her family was. Before I could even get the first word out though, we were surrounded by a mob of redheads, all taking at the same time. They were so loud. They were taking turns hugging Lily, a policy which seemed not to apply to their lectures and queries.
"Do you know how worried-"
"What were you-"
"Where on earth did you-"
One voice rose over the rest though, cutting all of them off. "Lily Luna Potter! What did you think you were doing?! Do you have any idea how worried we were?! You just disappeared! We couldn't find you anywhere! What have I told you about going off on your own?" Lily ducked behind me as a woman who looked remarkably like her ranted. Her mother I was assuming. Lily spoke as soon as Mrs.Potter took a breath.
"But Mum! It wasn't my fault! I was just looking for everyone to say goodbye! Then some stupid Slytherins cornered me." She sped up as everyone's expressions transformed to ones of worry and outrage on her behalf. "Don't worry, I'm fine. They didn't even touch me. Ella saved me. You should've seen what she did to them! It was hilarious!" I cringed as she grabbed my hand and drew me forward.
Mrs. Potter enveloped me in a hug. "Ella was it? Thank you so much for your help!" I don't know what my face looked like at the moment but it must have been pretty funny, because a trio of kids standing behind Mrs. Potter were sniggering at me. The boy in the center, auburn haired, with the same brown eyes as Lily and Mrs. Potter, stepped forward.
"Mum, you're suffocating her. " I shot him a look of gratitude as he pulled Mrs. Potter off me. She smiled sheepishly before holding a hand out to me.
"Ginevra Potter. Call me Ginny."
I smiled at her. "Ella Thomas."
The boy, Lily, brother looked at me curiously. "You're not from here, are you?"
Ginny hit the back of his head. "James Potter! Manners!"
James scowled at his mom, before turning back to me, rubbing the back of his head gingerly. "Sorry."
I grinned at him. "It alright. No, I'm not actually. I just moved here from America. The accent's kinda obvious isn't it?"
"Just a bit."
The rest of the crowd stepped forward to introduce themselves. The two kids who'd been standing next to James were Roxanne and Fred Weasley. They were twins, and the three Fourth years were best friends. I also met Al Potter, Lily's other brother, their cousin Rose Weasley, her younger brother Hugo, and all of their parents, Hermione, Ron, Angelina, and George Weasley.
The last person to introduce himself was Harry Potter. I may be from a small town in Oregon, but even I know who he is. He shook my hand, before drawing me off slightly to the side. "Thank you so much for helping Lily, Ella. She doesn't think before she acts or talks, and I'm sure she was doing her best to aggravate those kids when they cornered her." He smiled slightly when he said this. "It's kind of a family trait. It's just that, she's only 10, and she's so small, and she doesn't know how to defend herself against magic yet." Mr. Potter looked so worried, I felt kind of bad for him.
"Don't worry Mr. Potter. Lily's fine. And I took care of the bullies." I smirked slightly as I said this. He looked a bit wary.
"I know that look. I see it all the time on my children. I'm a bit scared to ask what you did." My smirk widened. I looked at him appraisingly.
"If I remember correctly, you're an Auror, right?"
He nodded, looking unsure as to where I was going with this. I reached down and rummaged through my bag. I pulled out a candy wrapper and shrugged. That would do. I took out my wand and waved it at the wrapped, transfiguring it into a vial, before touching my temple with the tip of my wand and taking out the memory of the confrontation. I placed it in the vial and stoppered with a cork I'd conjured.
I held up the small glass tube. "I'll make you a deal. I'll give you this, and you don't arrest me, or get me in trouble for it." He still looked a bit unsure. "I promise I did nothing that's going to harm anything but their pride."
Before he could say anything, a hand snaked out and snatched the vial from my grip. When we turned around, we saw Mrs. Potter holding it. "Don't worry about him. I promise we'll do nothing about what we see in here." She had a gleam in her eyes. It seemed as though she was looking forward to seeing the humiliation of the brats who threatened her baby girl. I grinned at her. She beamed back at me, before slinging a friendly arm around my shoulders. "I can already tell, my dear, that this is going to be a beautiful relationship."
All of us looked around as the warning whistle sounded. Mrs. Potter grabbed her two boys by their shirts as they attempted to leave.
"Where do you think you're going?" She turned them around and looked from one sheepish face to the other.
"Do good in classes, don't piss off your teachers, say hi to Neville, Hagrid, Minerva, and Seamus, and Dumbledore when you make it to the Headmaster's office. Which you won't for at least a couple of week, right? I would say don't get in trouble, but it'd be wasted on you. Just try not to get caught. Don't hurt anyone, and don't prank people who don't deserve it. Try not to torment Molly. She'll feel awful if she catches you and has to punish you. That girl is much too responsible. I don't know where she gets it from." Mrs. Potter paused here, as if considering the mystery of this Molly's responsibleness, before continuing. "Scratch that. I know where she gets it. Stupid Percy. Anyway, have a good year boys. Say goodbye to your father and sister," she ordered, as she brought them in for a hug and a kiss.
This woman is amazing.
She turned to me now. "Ella. Where are your parents?" She looked around, as if expecting them to magically appear next to us.
My smile faded a bit. "My stepfather left, and my mom had to do something." Woah. I surprised myself with bitterness in my voice.
She looked at me, a bit sadly, but I was surprised, and relieved, to see that there wasn't any pity in her expression. I hate pity, and there's nothing to pity about me. It's not like I want my mom and Richard to be here. She pulled me in for another hug. Before she let go she whispered in my ear. "Keep in touch sweetie. I mean it. If I don't get a letter from you within a week, I'll send you a Howler."
I stared at her when she pulled away. Is she kidding? James clapped me on the back as if reading my mind.
"Welcome to the family Thomas. You'd better write her. She really will send you a Howler. I speak from experience." He grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the train. All of us, the Weasleys, the Potters, and I stood in the doorway and waved as the train pulled away. When I tried to move to the back, Albus and Roxanne grabbed me by the tops of my arms and kept me where I was. Seriously, what is it with this family and grabbing?!
Finally, the train turned a corner and the platform, and all the waving families, disappeared from sight. James turned to me inquisitively. "Where're you sitting?"
I gestured to the compartment I'd put Mimsy. They all followed me and sat down around me.
Roxanne, who was sitting across form me, looked at me a bit pityingly. "Did you think James was kidding when he said welcome to the family? Cuz he wasn't. You're now officially one of us, whether you like it or not. You don't really get a choice. You're stuck." She was smirking by now. The rest of them stopped their various conversations for a brief second to look over and nod affirmatively at Roxanne's words, before going back to whatever they were doing.
How the hell did this happen? All I did was stop a bunch of idiots from picking on someone obviously smaller and more helpless, though definitely smarter and better than them. Now I'm sitting in a compartment surrounded by a bunch of Fourth years and Second years.
Reviews? Doesn't matter what you say, or how long it is. Anything would be amazing. Even if it's "I wish I had a purple flying monkey." ...How cool would that be?! Sorry, sidetracked. Anyway, I don't know what you're thinking unless you tell me. So please do?