Chapter 4 : Stop to Smell the Roses
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Stop to Smell the Roses
Another beam of light hit my face. Waking me up like it had yesterday. It's like the world is laughing because it knows that this annoys me to no end. Ugh! How many windows does this place have and why don't they have any blinds, instead of just curtains. This is a castle for Pete's sake, and a magical one at that, why don't they invest in window coverings so teenagers who like sleep can enjoy it without being disturbed. If this is how I'm going to be woken up every morning then say good bye to little miss sunshine because I won't be a happy camper.
I slept most of the day in the hospital room yesterday. So after crashing into Draco; it ended up with me laughing on the ground beside him. He had pushed me off of his chest, I guess so that he could breath. I know that he thought it was funny too. No matter how hard he tried to pretend to be mad at me I could see through his mask, he was dying of laughter on the inside and all I need now is let that happiness out. He seems like he's trying too hard to have this 'cool' image, he needs to give that a rest and be realistic, because obviously the cool one here is me.
After I got a hold of myself, Draco rose from the floor, shook the imaginary dust from his uniform and held out a hand to me. I grabbed his hand without hesitation, but to my disappointment he let go of my hand and placed both of his hands inside his pockets. He led the way to my room. It's only temporary until the headmaster knows what exactly to do with me.
Draco left me, telling me that he actually had to get to class. I had a feeling that wasn't the whole reason but left it at that. I looked back like I had the other day but this time he had already vanished from view. An empty feeling had washed over me. It took me a while to figure out why, but I soon realised that I was all alone. Only my thoughts were here to be with me, but they brought unpleasant memories of the recent past. I could feel the tears swelling up in my eyes. I didn't hold them back this time, there was no need to. Last night I went to sleep early hoping it would be free from my nightmares.
I sat down in front of my vanity mirror. My reflection in the glass told the story of last night's dreams. Crying myself to sleep, always leads to a restless night and looking terrible the next morning. I shook my head trying to forget the disturbing images that would now be ever imprinted in my mind, just looking for a way out.
Even though I was Ralph's twin, we never really looked alike. He had grey almost silver eyes; mine are emerald green that would sparkle in the sunlight. I was the graceful dancer, he had two left feet but did surprisingly well in sports.
I started brushing out my long dark brown hair that had become a crow's nest from tossing and turning all night. Boys have it so easy. Just like Ralph. He had short light brown hair, never wore any make-up and just threw on whatever was lying on floor. I wonder if men in general have this natural talent of taking less than five minutes to get ready or if they just go really fast to make us girls look like we take forever.
I quickly finished brushing through my tangled mess and put it in a messy bun. I tied it off with a black ribbon instead of my usual scarlet red one because I'm still in mourning. I combed my bangs in a way that would hide some of my face to cover up the dried up tears that stained my face and refused to be washed off.
When I woke up this morning I found all of my clothes and possessions had been moved from my house and put into trunks to my room. I had almost begun to freak out wondering who broke into my home when it hit me again; magic. This is going to be a lot harder to get the hang of than I had realised. I chose some black jeans, a dark v-necked t-shirt and a sweater because I got the feeling that I would be going outside today and from my window it looked rather cold.
I jumped when I heard a small "pop" behind me. I was surprised to find a plate of delicious smelling food on my bedside table. I ran over and hopped onto my stomach on the bed grabbing the plate and placing it in front of me. The smells were intoxicating leading me to devour it in its entirety quickly. The food must have been magical because it seemed to melt away my pain from the inside. I wonder if there is anything that is normal here.
My questioned would have to be answered later because the ramblings inside my head were interrupted by a knock on the door. I jumped off my bed, nearly tripping on the leg of the table trying to get there. I composed myself before opening the door. For some odd reason I was hoping it was Draco Malfoy standing on the other side of the door. The smile on my face fell when I swung the door open because I did not find him leaning against the doorframe like I had imagined but a very, very huge man. My eyes trailed from his massive feet, all the way up his gross fur coat to see his face. He could have been a giant because he is the tallest person I have ever seen and I'm going to get a massive kink in my neck if I would have to look at his face all day. He may or not be a giant but I could tell from his beady black eyes the kindness that lies beneath.
"I'm Rubius Hagrid, Professor Dumbledore sent me so we can go 'n get 'ur stuff." (A/N: I really suck at Hagrid's voice so from here on you guys can use your imagination to make it sound like him. Or it would take me even longer to write this chapter.)
"Give me a sec; I need to grab my stuff." I grabbed the velvet cloak my mom gave me, knowing I would need something to protect me from the crisp October wind and it gave me a sense that my mother was still here with her arms around me in a big hug. Trying quickly to put on my boots failed as I hopped around trying to pull them up, and I ended up falling. Luckily it was unto bed, so I sat down and pulled them up all the way. As I ran towards the door I grabbed my purse even though I knew it wouldn't be of much help here.
It took me nearly three steps to match one of his. While he was walking at a comfortable pace it felt like I was running a marathon. "We have to stop by Dumbledore's office to pick up something." Hagrid said casting a glance down. I smiled up at him to not show any sort of weakness because that would inconvenience him and I didn't what that. After all I am kind of afraid that he would sit on me if that happened, so I thought just to let him have his way.
When we reached Dumbledore's office, I was breathing heavily. There is no way I would be able to keep this up all day. So I'll just have to hope that he won't be upset. I was bent over with my hands on my knees, supporting my upper weight so to stop myself from collapsing. "Next time… can we… slow… down… a… I'm not as fit used to be, now in my old age." I caught my breath with my head down trying to get some blood back into my brain. I stood up and almost made a gesture mocking an old person, when I realised that Professor Dumbledore was standing right next to us. With a cocked eyebrow he inquired "If you are old Miss Nadira, what does that make me?"
Caught off guard it took me a while to find an appropriate comeback that would act as a compliment. "Well… you are in your prime." It was more of a question than a statement. I also left my words hanging because it's really hard to suppress a laugh if your mouth is open. I saw the twinkle in his eyes really start to illuminate the room. I'm glad that he took this light-heartedly. I let out a small giggle, not wanting to show his that I enjoyed it. I like this guy. He knows how to handle a joke and is faster than I am at catching on.
"Well, you have to get along with your journey." The smile he had on his face was contagious.
"I entrust this to you my dear." He handed me a small golden key. He thought he could give it to me without noticing his hand, but I noticed that his ring finger on his right hand had begun to turn black. I had heard that curiosity killed the cat so I didn't ask him; know he wouldn't want to talk about it.
"Your mother thought it might be of some use to you." In hearing that this had belonged to my mom I took the key and clenched it in my fist promising that I would never lose it.
I soon found out that the golden key from my mother was the key to my family's fortune. In a vault, deep within the hole of Gringott's I took a small pile of gold for all of my needs. I left behind the mountains of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts, keeping it for the future.
The cart that drove us through the tunnels, much to Hagrid's displeasure, was almost as good as a rollercoaster. All they needed was a few loopty loops and I would be great!
We spent most of the morning going to and from shops, buying all the school supplies that I was going to need this year. Since I would have to catch up on six years I had Hagrid carry most of my books, saving me from a broken back. It took Hagrid a lot of convincing on his part to not let me buy every "pretty" thing I saw. Apparently a lot of wizarding products can be dangerous, as Hagrid told me every time I reached out to grab something off the shelf.
Every question I had about Hogwarts, he had the answer. Most of the answers ended up being "because of magic, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. But at this point any answer would be sufficient, he could have made up any reason and I would believe it. He told me a lot about the magical creatures, but he laughed at me when I asked if there was any kind of talking lions.
After we bought most of my books and supplies it was the afternoon and we still needed to eat before we starved and Hagrid I might have seen looking down at me hungrily but laughed at the idea out loud. Hagrid looked down at me with a puzzled look on his face and it made me laugh even harder, it was the first time in days that I felt truly happy. We sat down in a dingy room, which looked more like an old fashioned pub than a restaurant.
"This reminds me of the time when I took 'Arry to Diagon Alley."
"Who Harry?" It was the tenth time he had mentioned his name the whole day. Hagrid must hold Harry in high regards to have mentioned him so many times.
He gaped at incredulously at me. "How do you not know 'bout 'Arry Potter?"
At that name, everyone in the room turned to star at me like I was a disease. I sank lower into my chair trying to avoid the stares. As everyone turned away to whisper to their neighbour about the girl who doesn't know about Harry Potter, I sat up in my chair to defend myself.
"Ummm… let me think… Oh yeah I just found out about magic a couple days ago."
"Sorry 'bout that."
"So who is this Harry Potter that everyone seems to know except for me?"
He lowered his voice, like he was about to tell a secret. I leaned in not to miss a single word.
"Harry Potter is the only person in history to survive the killing curse. You can tell it's him if you see the lightning scar on his forehead because that is a cursed mark. His scar marks him as the one who saved us from You-Know-Who."
"I'm not saying He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named name!"
"OK then." I held up my hands in defence. I thought it was an innocent question but I was mistaken. If it really that big of a deal I'll ask someone else for the name.
"Even though Harry defeated the You-Know-Who as a baby and his body was destroyed, he just recently returned to power, threatening to kill all if they do not join him. Now it's up to Harry, with the help of Hermione and Ron to stop him and restore peace."
Wow, I have missed a lot. I wonder why my mom, never let us know anything about this. "Wait, I thought this story was only about Harry, when did the other two join in?"
"Well, Ron and Hermione have help Harry defeat You-Know-Who over the last five years, and are his best-friends. You know you should be the same age as them. They're in six year." It was kind of shocking to find out how old they were, I was imagining people who were a lot older. Hagrid continued, "If you want the real story ask them."
We only had one stop left to make. I had to go in alone because Hagrid couldn't fit through the door. I pushed open the door to Olivander's to get my wand. The walls were covered in shelves, with little boxes placed haphazardly on them. I rang the bell on the front desk hoping for some assistance. I had no knowledge about wands or magic for that fact and I was afraid of choosing the wrong one. An old man appeared out of nowhere, scaring me half to death. I jumped so high from fright that I had to grab the counter to stop myself from falling over.
"You must be Miss Nadira." The man stated in his mystical voice. Could this guy read minds or something, how does he know who I am?
"How did you…"
"You look very much like your mother."
"You knew my mom?" It seemed everyone knew my mom and I began to think that I didn't know her anymore.
"Yes, she was a very talented witch." I wanted to know more about this magical world, a world that my mother had hid me from for all these years. Even though now I am a part of it. "You remind me of her, except some features like your hair, traits that you must have inherited from your father."
I looked down at the counter, tracing the lines made by the wood. "That's what my mom use to say, but I've never met him." Mom use to talk about him sometimes, because either Ralph or I would remind her of him in the ways we did things. Then we would ask her about him and if we could meet him, but then she would make up some kind of excuse and leave the room. We soon learnt not to ask her of him anymore, because you could see by the look in her eyes that it broke her heart to talk about him. He could have died or abandoned her and we would have never known. Huh, I have to stop thinking in plural forms now. There is only one of me now, and nothing can change it.
He left it at that, from the look that's on my face must have told him not to press the matter farther unless he wanted a girl crying in his shop. And let's face it; no man really knows what to do if a lady is crying, so they try best to avoid it. He turned around quickly, scanning the shelves. He eventually found what he was looking for and carried it to the front. From the back of the shop he laid a small dusty box; from not being touched in ages, in front of me. He opened it and handed me its contents. I grabbed the smooth handle of the wand.
"Try this one."
Not really trusting myself with magic, but guessing I had to see if it worked I waved it in a small circle. Taken completely by surprise, every little box flew off the shelves. I took shelter crouched in front of the desk to avoid flying objects. I put the wand back in its box; after the chaos had settled, and taking a step back from it as if it were something dangerous. I think I might have figured out how you get your wand, trial and error, choose the wrong one and you'll have to pay the price.
I guessed that this man was Olivander from the shop's name; Olivander pushed his way through the boxes and brought another wand forward. He said something; probably the wand's description but I missed it. I wasn't sure if I wanted, or anyone else for that matter within proximity would want another wand in my hands. I hesitantly waved it in an even smaller circle. This time however, it made the scattered boxes spring open, making an even bigger mess. I sighed, wishing that the wand brave enough to be in the hands of Tatiana Nadira would just come to me so I could skip this trialing.
I rested my forehead on the front desk. Feeling embarrassed for my uncontrollable actions I felt really bad for the old man because he would be responsible to clean up the pig sty I left behind.
"I remember every wand I've ever made Miss Nadira, but I have never seen that one before." I lifted my head from the counter and looked at him confused. He was looking down at my hand that now held the most beautiful wand I had ever seen, not that I had seen many before but this had a calling to it.
"The wand chooses the wizard, and this one seems to be drawn to you." He sounded still amazed at the mysterious appearance of the wand. I wrapped my fingers around the handle. I gazed at the artwork. The carving in the wood was beautifully detailed. The wand was entwined with a rose stem the thorns looking as if they were actually sharp. As soon my hand was correctly placed a single full bloomed, red rose blossomed from the tip. I watched it grow in amazement. Olivander plucked it and handed it to me adding a small bow to make the offer that much better. I giggled like a little girl as I took it from his hand, and curtsied as a thank you.
"It seems that you have found your wand." I smiled into my rose, smelling the most fragrant perfume emanating from the flower. I paid for the wand and left the shop with a wave to the shop owner still scratching his head, trying to figure out where it came from.
I met Hagrid outside. He seemed like he was getting too comfortable sitting down on the bench. I tapped his arm, he jumped wide awake. He got a little confused for dosing off. "Well I didn't want to disturb you earlier so I stopped and smelled the roses for a while." I joked. I took him a while to figure out what I had just said. I tried to apologies for waking him up; instead he passed me a bowl of ice cream with every colour imaginable swirling around inside of it, and said not to worry about it... I dug into the treat graciously, as we headed back to the school by carriage.
"Would you like to meet them? Hagrid asked as I was finishing up the rainbow ice cream.
"Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I can invite them to my house for tea when we get back and I'll introduce you."
"Sure I'd like that."
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