I woke up to the sound of birds merrily chirping in the trees. The warm breeze licked my face as soft morning light filtered in through the half open window. I sighed contentedly. It was so peaceful, the morning.
“Ella! We’re going to be late! Hurry up!” my elder sister’s hysterical voice drifted upstairs, piercing my bubble.
“Jesus. I’ll be up in a sec. Chill Rita!” I replied, though making no move of getting out of bed. Rita could be so demanding sometimes.
“What? Your not up yet! We need to leave in 15 minutes!” she cried shrilly.
“What are you on ab-?” and then it hit me.
I was so dead.
I sat up so quickly my head hit the top of the bunk that me and my sister shared. Rubbing my now throbbing head with my hand I scrambled out of bed and hurried over to my calendar, not quite believing I had overslept on such an important day. Yep, it was there circled in red texta, just like I remembered. September 1st.
With speed I didn’t realise I possessed, I pulled on my oldest pair of jeans and a bright orange t-shirt whilst putting everything I could find into my open trunk lying at the foot of my bunk. It surprised me how fast nine weeks had gone, though I suppose when you spend most of your time reading any book you can lay your hands on the days start to pass by in a blur. I sighed as I realised that I hadn’t done anything remotely productive these whole holidays. It was always the same routine. Wake up, have breakfast, read, have lunch, a game of chess, read, dinner, shower and then bed. I really hadn’t changed from first year. It was quite sad really.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” I shouted over my shoulder, glancing at the alarm clock sitting on the bedside table. It read 10:13. Hastily grabbing my newly acquired quidditch captain badge currently sitting on my bedside table, I bounded down the stairs taking them three at a time and skidded into the kitchen.
“S-sorry,” I said out of breath, announcing my arrival. Mum turned to look at me with an accusatory glare. She was very big on punctuality. I distinctly remember the summer before first year when I woke up one minute late and she completely blew up at me, but that was in the past. Now, over the years she has gotten used to me. Rita on the other hand...
“Eleanor. This isn’t cool anymore!” she whined.
“I didn’t say it was,” I replied back, earning a withering look from my mum.
Rita glared at me. “Hahahahaha. That was hilarious! I’m laughing my head off!” she said. Now I know why she’s in Hufflepuff. She really needed to work on her comebacks.
“Oh look. Now its exploded.”
She struggled to hold in her laughter, her lips twitching, but eventually she couldn’t stop doubling over in fits of giggles.
“Ella, just so you know, I’m laughing at the lameness of your joke, so don’t go thinking they’re are actually good or anything.”
I slapped her arm playfully. Apart from times like these where we disagreed, Rita and I generally got along very well. We didn’t have the regular ‘sister-sister rivalry’ that my friends had with their sisters.
“Ella, sit down and have your breakfast before your mum gets a heart attack,” my dad spoke, finally looking up from the Daily Prophet. Honestly, I don’t know why he bothers to read it anymore. Ever since I read about the Prophet’s denial of You-Know-Who’s return and ridicule of Harry Potter in 1995, I haven’t trusted it.
As I sat down hurriedly (mum really did look angry) and started buttering my toast, Rita jabbered away at super sonic speed to no one in particular. I could barely make out what she was saying at the pace she was going.
“...can’t wait for seventh year! But I am NOT looking forward to N.E.W.Ts. If O.W.Ls were so exhausting, I really can’t imagine how bad N.E.W.Ts will be. I’ll need top marks to get into the apprenticeship for Auror training. I’ll need to work a lot on my potions. Slughorn is a really harsh marker. And he’s so biased! But he’s a teacher, so we have to listen to him. I’m just really worried. Of coarse I guess I’ll pull through in the end, it’s such a huge relief when they’re finally done though! Oh! I almost forgot!”
She turned to me with a neatly wrapped present and placed it in front of my half empty plate. I looked at her and then back at the present, comprehension suddenly dawning on me.
“Rita, why are you giving me presents?” I asked somewhat suspiciously.
“There’s no need to look so nervous. I haven’t cursed it!” I wouldn’t put it past her. “It’s for your ten outstanding O.W.Ls! You got even better than me and I didn’t think that was possible. But I guess I’ll have to accept that I’ve just got a genius for a sister,” she said, rolling her eyes good naturedly in my direction before ruffling my hair, “Anyway...why don’t you just open it?”
I glanced at her one last time before tearing open the package.
There was a moment of silence.
“MERLINS BEARD RITA! I’VE BEEN SAVING UP FOR THIS BOOK FOR AGES! HOW ON EARTH DID YOU KNOW?”
“I guess I’m just a leglimens,” I gave her a look. “Okay, fine. I read your diary, but you like it right?”
I decided to overlook the fact that she had probably read my deepest darkest secrets. I mean, how often do older sisters get their younger sisters awesome presents for no particular reason?
“Like it? I love it! Thank you so much Rita. I’ll start it as soon as I finish reading the one I’m reading right now.” I nodded to the book lying on the table next to my plate.
“What, this one?” She picked it up and read the title out loud. “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Isn’t that the book written by that really famous dead muggle? Pete-, no Parke-, no Patr-”
“Charles Dickens,” I corrected.
“Oh,” she smiled sheepishly.
“It’s actually quite good. Some of the parts are a bit boring though. It’s about this boy named Nicholas Nickleby. He’s really poor because his father dies unexpectedly. Being the only male in the family, he has to to find work with his wealthy uncle to support his mother and sister. But his uncle is really mean so h-”
“We really don’t want to know,” she interrupted. “I’ve never gotten your obsession with muggle literature. It’s all so boring, I don’t know how you understand half of it, let alone like it!”
“Muggle literature is very interesting, thank you very much!”
“Come on Ells, you know its boring.”
“Do. Not. Call. Me. Ells”
“Oh please. I’ve heard Hugo call you that all the time!”
“That’s because he’s an annoying git.”
“Sure, sure...Or is it because your in luuuuuurve!”
“Okay, okay...I still don’t understand why you hate him so much though. He seems nice enough.”
“Just because Rose is your best friend!”
“Speaking of Rose,” mum interrupted.” I’ve been thinking, we should invite the Weasley’s around for dinner!”
“What, all of them?” asked dad looking horrified. With good reason too. There were hundreds of them!
“No of coarse not! Just Hermione, Ronald, Rose and Hugo,” she replied calmly.
“Hugo! No way in hell!” I cried.
“Language Eleanor,” she looked at me disapprovingly before continuing. “It would be nice to catch up with them all. I haven’t seen Hermione in a long time since she become the Head of Department for Magical Law Enforcement. I guess she’s been busy.”
“Well, what do you think?” mum asked dad sweetly.
“I guess that should be fine,” he answered.
“Yes! I’ll go owl Rose. Oh wait! I’m meeting her on the train! I’ll tell her then,” squealed Rita excitedly.
“Ella?” mum turned to me expectantly.
I sighed in defeat. “Do I even have a choice?”
“Are we there yet?” inquired Rita for about the hundredth time. Sometimes it was really hard to believe I was the youngest.
“No! It will take another 10 minutes, now stop asking!” scolded mum from the front seat of the car. She had a really short temper, the only thing which we both had in common.
“But we’re going to be late. It’s already quarter to,” she continued.
“And whining about it won’t get us there any faster,” countered dad.
“Hey! I don’t whine,” she whined.
I snorted, as she shot me a scathing look. The truth was, Rita did whine. A lot. In fact, if there was a international whining competition (which I don’t doubt. They have competitions for everything these days), she would win it by a mile. I laughed to myself, as I imagined Rita being presented with the trophy and her happy, beaming face. Not that she needed anymore trophies. There was already a whole cupboard dedicated to her awards. Even though she was a Hufflepuff, she was extremely intelligent, even more so than some Ravenclaws. Sometimes I wondered why she wasn’t just sorted into Ravenclaw, but I guess her loyal and hardworking nature was more prominent in her personality.
I, on the other hand was a Gryffindor, and proud of it. The sorting hat did seriously consider putting me in Ravenclaw, but I’m glad it didn’t. I would never have been able to get into the common room. How do I know this? Well, to make a long story short, last year I was trying to get into the Ravenclaw common room (you don’t need to know why), but I didn’t realise you had to answer some weird sort of riddle to get in. I was standing outside for almost an hour trying to figure the riddle out (The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end, and the end of every place) before a couple of first years took pity on me and answered the riddle for me (the letter ‘e’). Trust me when I say, I don’t want to experience that kind of humiliation again.
“Okay guys, we’re here!” dad announced.
“Hurry up! Hurry up! You’re going to be late,” mum said, frantically ushering us through the Kings Cross Station crowds once we had finally gotten our trunks out of the car.
“I’m going to murder you if we miss the train Ella,” threatened Rita once we had made our way to the brick wall separating platforms 9 and 10. She was almost as crazy as mum about punctuality.
“Chill. We have 5 minutes. We’re not going to be late,” I said, before inconspicuously falling against the wall and sliding into platform 9 3/4. As usual, the scarlet steam engine that was the Hogwarts Express didn’t fail to amaze me. But I didn’t have time to admire it as the whistle sounded, signaling that the train was to depart from the platform very soon. Just as I was about to drag my trunk over to the train Rita came flying through the gates and slammed into me, sending me sprawling into the ground.
“Could you just be a little more careful?” I said spitting dirt out of my mouth.
She apologised quickly and hurriedly hugged mum and dad goodbye before boarding the train.
“Now you take care Ella,” mum said a little tearfully.
“Don’t cry mum,” I protested, trying my best to console her. “I’ll be back for Christmas.”
She nodded slowly, wiping away her tears.
“I suppose. Now behave yourself and don’t read too much!” I had to laugh at that.
“We’ll miss you. Have fun princess,” dad winked and waggled his eyebrows suggestively. Honestly, sometimes my dad could just be plain revolting. Suddenly, and much to my surprise, he pulled me into a bone crunching hug. “I love you Ellie,” he whispered into my hair.
“I love you too dad.”
“Now get a move on or your going to be left behind.” He pulled back from our embrace and shoved me towards the train. I laughed, wiping away a few stray tears and hugged him one last time. He helped me pull my trunk onto the train, just as it started to leave the platform.
“I’ll miss you!” I shouted, waving as the train rounded the corner and they disappeared out of sight.
A/N: This is my first Harry Potter fanfiction so I'm a bit nervous. I've already written up to chapter 5 or so, but tell me if I should continue. Also, it would be much appreciated if you could write a review and give me some constructive criticism and feedback and thank you so much for reading :)