Chapter 1 : Morning Blues and Family hues
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“Ally! Wake up! It’s time for your train.”
A glum feeling spread over me.
School. Back to the hell-hole named Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
It was not exactly hell. My 2 best friends went there. We learned magic, trained ourselves to be good wizards and witches.
But that place did not have my brother, Blake. My brother had graduated 3 years ago and now trained to become a healer. Nor did it have my mom and dad.
But it had Jenna Wilkins and her group of bumble-bee friends. Bloody Bitches.
Jenna and I had, have and will always have a hate-hate relationship.
On our first train ride to school, I had accidently stepped on a girl’s foot. That girl with the brown pigtails and innocent blue eyes had turned out to be the winner of Miss Evil title- Jenna Wilkins. She had called me a bloody ass-hole. We were supposed to be 11 then.
I had not understood her meaning and kept on apologising. That was until a girl came to us and told Jenna to stop being such a baby.
Let’s say she never forgave me and for some reason continues to hate me. She manages to give me really painful headaches. And the only reason to hate Hogwarts.
Apart from the inconvenience her presence caused, I absolutely loved Hogwarts.
I got up and went to the bathroom to freshen up. I brushed my teeth and then stepped into the shower. Hot water cascaded down my back and I sighed blissfully. And suddenly I smiled, my thoughts going to my best friends, Bonnie Higgs and Hazel Goldstein. The three of us had been BFF’s since the first year.
Bonnie came from a pure-blood family. She was the daughter of Slytherin seeker Teddy Higgs. Her mother, Daphne Greengrass was also in Slytherin. But somehow Bonnie had landed in Ravenclaw. It had something to do with her witty mind and pure heart that even the Sorting hat knew Bonnie would not last even a day between the Slytherins. With golden hairs that she kept long, so long that it went lower than her mid back and pretty blue eyes she looked like an angel. Her mom and dad had an arranged marriage, but somehow ended up falling in love; head-over-heels. All the pure-blood nonsense lost the place in their house when William, Bonnie’s elder brother became best friends with Maggie Smith, a witch from a muggle family and my brother. Of course, there were still a few restrictions, but they were acceptable.
Hazel was the complete opposite of Bonnie. With jet black hair always fashioned in a kind of bob that ended just in between her neck, she was spontaneous to the core. She was the one that had told off Jenna to back off in the train during our first year. True to her name, her eyes were a deep hazel, always twinkling with mischief. They have always been my favourite. She was tall, her height around 5’8. Daughter of Anthony and Lillian Goldstein, she had inherited her father’s nerve and mother’s looks. Anthony Goldstein was a D.A member and had fought in the war. He had been a Ravenclaw prefect. Lillian was a muggle whom he had met while working as an auror. It was love at first sight. Hazel, Bonnie and I had listened to their story countless times, yet it never lost the spark, the charm. Twenty years after their marriage, it was still plainly visible how sickly in love they were. Hazel had an elder brother Tom and younger sister Hope.
And then there was me. Allison Campbell a.k.a Ally. My hair was reddish brown and showed traces of golden in the sun. It hung past my shoulder, making it neither too long, nor too short. My eyes were sea-green, with a little bit of silver in it. I was a mixture of the other two, neither too timid nor too rash. I was the head, Bonnie was the heart and Hazel was the nerve of our group.
My mom and dad were muggle, so it was a bit of a surprise when the letter came from Hogwarts for Blake. It was a bigger surprise when it came for me as two children of muggles with no connection to the wizarding world turning out to be magical was a little rare. My mom and dad were college sweethearts. They had accepted and embraced the fact that Blake was a wizard quickly and without any fuss. Of course, there had been a lot of explaining but they had grasped it in the end. And they had gotten used to it soon as my brother and his three best friends had been a frequent sight.
Tom, Will and Blake were best friends. They were intelligent, smart, extremely good looking and charming. No wonder these three had been so popular. Maggie was also a part of their group. I had always thought that something was on between Maggie and Will, but Blake had always denied it. These four had been the rulers of their year. Sometimes it came as a great shock to people that Bonnie, Hazel and I were their sisters.
Our brothers, all three of them, had been in Gryffindor. We three are in Ravenclaw. All three of them had pulled off pranks big enough that it would have made the marauders proud. Amongst us, only Hazel even knew how to fool people. All three of them had been the kings of their time. I didn’t know if even half the school knew mine and Bonnie’s name. Everyone knew Hazel. There were few reasons for this. But they would come later.
I suddenly shivered as I realised that the hot water had run off and right now I was standing in ice-cold shower. Quickly I turned it off and wrapped myself in a towel. Stepping out, I went to my wardrobe and pulled out my favourite pair of jeans and a red top. I put on my black jacket in case it became cold. I used the dryer to dry my hair and longingly wished for the day I would turn seventeen as I was the only 1 left. After a quick inspection of my overall get-up, I turned to look at my room for the last time.
I would begin my seventh year in Hogwarts this time. This would be the last time I would leave this room still a student. My whole room was painted in blue and purple, with a huge eagle just above my bed. The words Ravenclaw shone out in golden either side of the two walls. Numerous pictures of my friends and family were somehow merged in the painting so it appeared like they were painted too. The motto “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure” were written in big bold letters. All these decorations were my birthday gift from Blake the year he turned 17. Tears sprang in my eyes as I glossed over the fact that this would be my last year. And I was calling the place hell-hole before.
Morning blues, I tell you, make a person go mad.
“Good morning.” I went and plopped down in my seat at the table and helped myself to the cereal.
“Morning sweetheart.” My mom hugged me lightly from behind before setting the plate of toast on the table. Then she took her place beside my dad.
My mom, Emily Campbell, was a ginger. She had lustrous red hair and lovely blue eyes. My father, Damien Campbell, on the other hand had black hair and green eyes.
And right now, they were staring at each other, all gooey and smushy. Like a pair of lovesick teenagers.
As loudly as I could manage, I cleared my throat. Mum looked away slightly embarrassed. Dad just chuckled under his breath. I sincerely missed my brother at that moment. At least there would have been someone else to stomach this all with me.
“All set to go Ally?” dad asked me as he resumed to scanning the newspaper.
“Yups. All set to go.” I said with a mouth full of cereal. Mum gave me a disapproving look.
“Really now Allison, it’s not a good habit speaking with your mouth full.” It really bugs me that she calls me Allison. But mum absolutely refuses to call me Ally. She says Allison sounds beautiful. She is kind of mad that way.
I just nodded. A glance at the clock showed me it was half past nine. I quickly finished off the rest of my breakfast then helped my mum clear the table. I was in such a hurry that I did not notice a figure coming in the room. A pair of hands clasped on my eyes and I near yelled, before I realised that I knew those hands.
“Blake!” I yelled and he laughed, releasing me. I turned around and tackled him in a bear hug.
“Hey Sis.” He said with laughter in his voice. This was my brother Blake, full of smiles. He Accio-ed my luggage from my room, saving me a trip to my room. Told you he was awesome. I picked up my fluffy orange cat, Nala and smiled to myself in anticaption.
“How are you here? Weren’t you supposed to be training?” I asked him while we waited by the front door for dad to bring the car around.
“I took a day off. How could I have not dropped my sister to the station in her last year?” He asked me, his lips twitching.
“But how did you get a holiday? Wouldn’t it affect your studies or anything? Oh don’t tell me you bunked your training. That could be horrendous. So stupid of you Blake. Missing your training when you have only 3 months for exam? How many times have I told you to start being serious. They could be teaching-”
“Seriously Ally, take a chill pill” he cut me off in the middle with a lazy voice. Blake was used to my long lectures when he did something reckless. The Ravenclaw in me could not stand seeing him neglecting his studies.
“I asked for the holiday and I got one. My boss is a woman.” He cocked one eyebrow as if to say duh. “And they are not teaching anything in particular today. Today is just a revision day as most of the interns are going to see off people to school. Don't worry sis, I am not always that stupid.”
I frowned and crossed my hand across my chest. Just then dad came with the car, mom sitting beside him. Blake kept my luggage in the boot and got in beside me in the backseat.
Blake and I talked all the way. He filled me with the details of different operations and spells, how the muggle medicines were helping them in many ways for treatment. He knew I did not get bored by his description of each complicated remedy for every different problem so he went on freely.
Then I told him all about my summer, describing to him my trip to Scotland with mum and dad. Blake had missed it due to his job and I could tell by his face how desperately he had wanted to come.
I also told him about the time spent with Hazel and Bonnie, and he laughed when I told him about the long library trips we made. Seeing my brother after one and a half month made me super duper happy. Mum and dad just listened to us going on and on.
“You know, I know something that might interest you.” Blake said after I had finished with the tale of mum and dad’s breakfast romance. I looked on with curiosity.
“Will and Maggie are going out. He asked her-” the rest of his words were drowned by my happy scream, mum’s loud “What?!” and dad’s mumbled “bout time.”
“Cool down guys.” He said, rolling his eyes.
“This is so cool. Didn’t I always say something was on.” I said in a slightly triumph voice.
“There was always a kind of sexual tension between them.” Dad said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Thanks for the mental image dad.” Blake said sourly “Anyways, Will and Maggie had a fight because Maggie went out with a guy and came back home really late.” Will and Maggie lived together as both worked close by. “There seemed to have been a lot of shouting and in the middle of it Will angrily blurted out that he loved Maggie.” I laughed thinking how Will might have told Blake and Tom his way of confessing his feelings. I could see them in my head, laughing their heads off as poor Will explained. “And now they are inspirable.” Blake looked faintly smug by the end. I had no doubts he and Tom have been betting on these two, on how long they will hold up.
“How much did you win from Tom?” I asked him without a second thought. He looked at me for a moment with wonder in his eyes then shook his head.
“You and your stupid mind blogging intelligence.” He said in a slightly awed voice. “I won 10 galleons from him.”
I gasped. “10 galleons?”
“It’s nothing. He is going pro at Quidditch. He will soon be making big money anyways. It is this or he has to do all my chores for one month. He chose to pay me. But I had hoped he would chose the other one.” Tom and he shared a flat, but I was surprised they were still doing so.
“Still not got enough balls to propose Adele?” I smirked as the red blush spread over Blake’s cheek. Adele was Blake’s girlfriends for two years. He had met her through Tom. She was French and from Beauxbatons. Thankfully both I and Blake were skilled in French.
“Shut up.” He muttered under his breath, his cheeks still red.
“Need some help bro? I am dying to have her as my sister-in-law.” I grinned.
“She is amazing sis. Why will she say yes to me?” he asked me, his voice a little doubtful.
“She already said yes to you once, why won’t she say it again?” Dad pointed out the obvious.
“Yes, but still it is marriage we are talking about.” Blake said in a sad voice.
“I think Adele loves you sweetheart.” Mum told Blake lovingly. “That girl absolutely adores you.”
“It’s now or never Blake. You can’t wait in the wings forever.” Dad added
“And I can’t wait to be a bridesmaid in your wedding so get a move on.” I butted in.
“Not to mention, if you don’t do it soon-”
“-A girl like Adele doesn’t have any problem-”
“-Attracting other boys.” Blake looked positively stricken by the end of it. I knew what he was thinking; Adele and some unknown stranger getting married. He flexed his knuckles and the asked in a steely voice.
“How do you think should I do it?”
At once mom and dad started flooding him with suggestions. I smiled to myself and then settled myself comfortably, turning to gaze out of the window and occasionally patting Nala.
“Oh, there is a parking spot. Right there.” Blake pointed out.
Carefully, dad manoeuvred the car in place. Blake took out my luggage and I just stood there, breathing deeply.
King’ Cross Station.
I looked around to see if I could spot any one from Hogwarts.
Few cars down, Lisa Green and Abby Thompson stood chatting. I could see few children carrying owls. I hardly recognised any of them. Must be first or second years. Further the Longbottom’s all stood together.
And with the Longbottom’s stood the Wotters. Potters and Weasleys; the whole bunch of them, a sea of red, black and blonde hair. There was the famous Harry Potter with Ron and Hermione Weasley; the golden trio. All their children clustered around them. I could see Fleur Weasley telling off her daughter, Dominique. Hermione Weasley was gesturing towards the car and scolding her husband for some reason. Their children Rose and Hugo seemed bored. Fred Weasley and James Potter seemed to be consulting George Weasley on some new prank, for all three of them looked super excited. Mr. Potter and Professor Longbottom seemed to be in a deep conversation. All the others were around too. And I could see that both Lisa and Abbey had dropped their conversation to stare at the Wotter boys. Bimbos.
Bored, I turned around to scan the place for Hazel. Bonnie would directly be Apparating at platform Nine and Three-Quarters with her family.
“Come on Ally. We will be late.” Blake called out.
“Coming.” I shouted and gave one last look at the Wotters just to find James and Fred looking at Louis with looks of horror etched on their faces. Then I turned and ran to join my family, Nala in my hand.