A massive thank you to cast!el @ TDA for the beautiful chapter image!
I stood on platform 9 3/4 and instantly regretted telling my parents that I would be fine. I felt the butterflies whip themselves into a frenzy as I was overwhelmed by the scene before me.
"You TURD, James Sirius Potter!" A small pale boy whined. He stopped long enough to push his glasses up his nose in a way that made him a look quite nerdy.
"Um," I said and tried to get past them, "Excuse me. Could you-"
"Moi? I'm not the turd here, Albus Severus
Potter," the older boy- presumably James- taunted him. My eyes flicked up to his face and I saw how extremely hot he was.
"Ahem," I coughed to try and get their attention, "Excuse me. Could I just get past...um-"
"Give it back to me, James!" Albus said while looking like he could burst into tears.
"What's the magic word?" James said and held whatever it was above his head.
"Excuse me, I'll just..." I tried to side step around the arguing pair but James moved in front me. Unintentionally, I think.
"MOVE!" I bellowed as my patience ran out. The two of them stopped their bickering and looked at me.
"What?" James said and blinked at me. Suddenly, my shyness took over and I quickly rushed past the pair with my head down and cheeks slowly turning a not-so-flattering shade of red.
Brushing past unfamiliar faces, I boarded the train and found an empty compartment.
I chucked all my stuff in the storage compartments and tried my best to not look like a loner. I could hear a bunch of girls coming up the train. One girl called to her friends that she could see an empty compartment.
"Over he-oh," she said as she stepped in and saw me, "I'm sorry." Once again, I felt my face burning. I hated being the new girl. A little part of me wished I was back in Australia with my friends but the other part of me told me not to be stupid-my friends were the reason I moved anyway.
I grew up in Australia. Not the red sandy desert with the giant rock in the middle or on any of the beaches, but in the bustling city of Melbourne. There, I attended the Australian Institute of Magic in the city. I've never been anywhere else and the newness of London and King's Cross was scary. Here, everyone new everyone else but I stood by myself trying not to look too lost or lonely but I wished someone would come up to me and say hi.
Yeah, I'm a real loner. You better get used to it.
I was jolted out of my pit of misery as the Hogwart's Express blew its whistle and pulled out of the station.
The English countryside blew me away. Up until now, I'd only seen the city parts if England that looked like any other city in the world. But as I looked out the window, I saw little patchwork fields in green. Nowhere in Melbourne was there this much green grass. In fact, green grass in Melbourne was a rarity as mostly it was yellow, under watered and dying. Only a heavy rainstorm for about a year could possibly break our drought.
I sat in my seat unmoving for what felt like hours.
"Anything from the trolley?" An old witch's cry interrupted my stillness.
"Anything from the trolley, dear?" The old lady asked as she peered short-sightedly into my compartment.
"Oh, yes please," I said and jumped up, fumbling for my wallet.
"Do you have any pumpkin pie?" I asked and pulled out a few pounds.
"Pumpkin pie?" The old witches said with a frown, "What is pumpkin pie? On the other hand, I have some pumpkin pasties, if you like." I had no idea what the hell a pasty was but how different could it be to pie?
"Um...sure. Two pumpkin pasties and a chocolate frog," I said and handed over some money. Taking my treats, I slumped back into my seat and again wondered why, oh why, I was here.
Actually, I knew perfectly why I was here. In fact, I could pin point the exact day when this all led here.
Shakily, I climb the stone steps. My breath comes out in shallow rasps while only one thought goes through my mind. I need to find Michelle.
I'd looked everywhere for the one person who I thought would fix all my problems and the library was my last option.
I push open the glass door and feel the cool air rush over my skin. I am painfully aware of every detail from the bunch of girls who squeal over some magazine article to the girl sitting in the corner with her back to the wall, reading a copy of some dead boring book I read last year.
I walk briskly down the pathway, my head swings left and right while my eyes scan for Michelle. I feel a shiver run down my spine as the air cools my sweat and my legs start to shake uncontrollably. Suddenly, I spot the familiar Vietnamese girl who held the answer to all my questions. She's sitting at a desk by herself, undoubtedly doing her Macbeth essay our English teacher set us just the period before.
As I walk closer and closer, a tiny second year boy is shoved by a third year into my path. Usually, I would stop and yell at both the boys for their rowdy behaviour in the library but I can barely comprehend what I am about to do so I let it slide.
It takes forever to reach Michelle but when I finally come to stand in front of her, it feels too soon and the words stick in my throat as I try to speak.
"Michelle." I try to say loudly and confidently but it comes out no louder than a whisper, so soft that she doesn't even look up.
I clear my throat and try to slow my breathing.
"Michelle," I say again and this time she looks up.
"Tessa," she smiles fondly but it fades as she sees the expression on my face, "What's wrong?"
"Come to the councillor's office with me." I intended it to be a question but it comes out more like a command. Instantly, her expression clears into one of understanding. Both of us know that this has something to do with two weeks ago.
"Just tell me what's wrong so I can help you. I want to help, Tessa, but you need to tell me what's wrong," she begs.
"It's not that simple," I sob and she pulls me into a hug and for the first time in a long time, I feel like somebody cares but ironically, there's nothing she can do.
Michelle sweeps all her books up within seconds and before I know what's going on, we reach Miss Devon's office.
I'm still excruciatingly aware of everything that's around me. The musty smell makes me what to puke and the motivational posters on the wall want to make me scream.
"Michelle...Tessa," she says as we walk into her room and I'm surprised she even remembers my name, "Please, have a seat." Michelle hesitates and I suspect she's never been in here so I take the lead, settling into a lurid green couch that brings back so many memories.
The councillors starts with all the customary questions and I give her all the necessary answers without saying anything that might alert Michelle to what really was the issue but then stupid Miss Devon breaks Michelle's illusion that I'm actually normal.
"Tessa, I'm going to...I'd just like to ask..." she stammers and she briefly closes her eyes and I can tell that she's not used to handling these situations, "How often....often do you cut yourself?"
Beside me, I can feel Michelle stiffen and she chokes slightly on her breath. The rest of the meeting passes in a blur but perhaps that is just because of all the tears.
Finally, I've recounted to Miss Devon-and Michelle-everything that had been happening in the last 10 months. I thought that getting everything off my chest would make me feel better but saying it out loud makes me feel like it's actually real. I feel like I'm physically breaking into a thousand pieces that can never be glued back together.
"Everything is going to be alright," Miss Devon says the words that I've been dying to hear in the last few months, words that I would repeat to myself on long sleepless nights that come out almost chant like. I feel light and a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon. Maybe everything is going to be ok. Maybe in a few months? time, I can feel happy again.
"But I have to tell your parents." My world already breaking world that had seen a glimmer of hope comes crashing down around my ears and I want to sigh in relief and punch a wall in frustration and puke violently all at the same time.
I blinked rapidly to clear my eyes and realised that I had fallen asleep. The Hogwart's Express had pulled into Hogsmeade and it was pitch black outside. Grabbing my stuff, I hoped of the train.
"Firs' years this way," a giant of a man called and I briefly wondered if he meant me as well seeing as this was my first year. I followed some of the other students going towards a huge castle. Behind me, I can hear two boys arguing.
"James, I said give. It. Back!" One squealed and I shake my head as I realise it's the two brothers from platform 9 3/4. Suddenly, my body jolted forward as some shoved me in the back.
"Merlin, I'm so sorry!" The older-and hotter- one said.
"Nice one," the younger one said and then made a grab for whatever James was holding. James jerked his hand away and taunted his brother, seemingly forgetting all about me.
"Just give it back," I said as I disappeared into the crowd, glad but slightly disappointed that the two boys had paid so little attention to me.
I followed the stream of students and came to a huge hall where there were four long tables and a huge platform where all the professors sat. The sheer size of it took my breath away but what was more impressive was the roof. It had hundreds of candles floating by magic it showed the real sky.
Students sat at the four long tables which I knew was according to their houses. Problem was that I didn't have a house yet and there didn't seem to be anywhere that was designated for people without houses. I searched high and low and even considered going to the teachers table but before I could do anything I realised that everyone had sat down.
The hall quickly fell silent as the huge doors were opened and a young wizard in red a stream of midgets. Okay, they probably weren't midgets but first years. But still...you never know.
The wizard raised an eyebrow as he saw me looking lost but swept past me with his dark robes swishing. Soon, midgets swarmed around me.
An old witch stood up on the teachers platform and spread her arms outside while giving us some sort of welcome back to school speech but I wasn't really listen until she announced that we would commence the sorting.
One by one, each young witch or wizard was called up to sit on a stool while a giant floppy hat was placed on his or her head. After a while, the hat would announce either Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin or Hufflepuff, which were the houses. I'd never seen anything like this before. At my old school, the principle would just pick out of random which house you got to be in and there didn't seem to be as much rivalry between each house.
When all the midgets had been called and I was the only one left standing, the young wizard called "Greene, Tessa". Whispers followed me up to the stool. I heard one guy whisper that he'd heard I'd been expelled from my old school. I wanted to smile at the thought but I didn't as the thought opening my mouth would probably release the vomit threatening to escape my stomach.
Shaking, I sat down on the school and the hot was placed on my head. Suddenly, a voice erupted in my head.
"Hmmm...let's see, shall we?" It said, "Oh...very interesting...hmmm...I see bravery and courage?"
I snorted. Bravery and courage? Me? No, they were definitely not words I would associate with me.
"Ahhhh, but they are words I would use to describe you?"
Then you, my friend, are delusional.
"And that is where you are wrong. There is not much you can hide from me...what else do we have here? Oh yes...well, loyalty and fair play and knowledge combined with ambition, but where to put you?"
Oh hurry up. I couldn't care less.
"Not care less...you are certainly the first student not to care...but then again, you are from Australia, aren't you?"
What's that supposed to mean?
"Oh don't be so grumpy. I mean that you simply don't understand Hogwart'?s house dynamics...but I still don't know where to put you?I think Gryf-"
No, not Gryffindor.
"What? Not Gryffindor? It is every young witches dream to be put there, you know. Gryffindor's the house everyone wants to be in."
Not me. I read the welcome letter detailing the house traits. I'm not corageousor anything.
"Well then, let me see. If not Gryffindor better be RAVENCLAW!"
a.n. sorry for the flashback within a flashback. I didn't really mean for it to come out that way, but I guess it just did. Please leave a review. They make my day :)