Chapter 2 : Heart Skips A Beat
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I'm trying hard not to resist the joy
Don't listen to me I'm being paranoid
I might try hard but it's too hard to avoid
My heart skips a beat
My Heart Skips a Beat (Lenka)
I stood awkwardly in the doorway, my clothes and hair dripping from the rain. Dumbledore stood up and spoke.
“Miss Rose, I’ve been expecting you.” He said with a twinkle in his eyes. How did I know this was Dumbledore, you might be wondering. Well, I’m not completely obsessed with Harry Potter but I do love the series and have seen the movies. A few...hundred times. Shut up. The hall of students just stared at me, whispering to each other.
“Uh-you were?” I asked, feeling a little dumb. Tux ran back to me and licked my hand and started to go back towards Dumbledore. I didn’t even scold him for licking me, I was in shock. When he realized that I wasn’t following him, he stopped and waited. His head cocked to the side like he was wondering why I was not coming along.
“Yes. Unfortunately, you just missed the sorting yesterday but I’d be happy to sort you back in my office.” He said smiling. “Unless of course, you’d like to do it here?”
“No! I’m mean, no, thank you. I’ll-I’ll follow you.” I said. I reluctantly started to walk up the aisle and follow my dog when suddenly halfway there, he veered off to the right and started barking at a guy. Seriously? Tux wouldn’t even bark when someone knocked on the door but he was going to bark at some random guy now?! I ran over to Tux and finally grabbed his collar. The guy just stared at me as I wrapped my fingers around the collar. Awkward. But then again, everyone was staring at me. And barely talking.
“Sorry.” I said to the guy. My heart skipped a beat as I met his gaze. Legitimately skipped. This could be a side effect from the heart attack I was about to have at showing up in Harry Potter Land. But he was quite handsome. Black hair that fell gracefully around his face and he had gray piercing eyes, seriously good looking. After I spoke he snapped out of his stupor and grinned widely.
“No problem, dogs like me. He probably just wanted to play.” He chuckled lightly and pet Tux on the head, scratching behind his ears. Tux wagged his tail so hard his butt was moving. I tore my eyes from this guy’s before I started to hyperventilate but that didn’t work out so well either. My eyes landed on Harry Potter. THE Harry Potter. But...there was something off. Weren’t his eyes green? Suddenly red hair caught my eye. Oh no. Lily Evans. Then that must mean this is James Potter. The gray eye guy spoke. “Are you alright? You look awfully pale.”
Sirius Black. And across from him, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Oh Jesus, I’m in deep trouble. I felt myself starting to hyperventilate. I looked at Dumbledore and he beckoned me to follow him. With no reply to Sirius...wow, Sirius freaking Black...and one (hopefully) last glance, I let go of Tux's collar and ran quickly to the teachers’ table, trying my best not to fall flat on my face, and followed Dumbledore out with Tux running happily at my heels.
“Let’s dry you off first, you are shivering.” Dumbledore and with a flick of his wand I was dry and warm. I could feel myself still shivering and it definitely wasn’t from the cold. I couldn’t speak yet though, I was still in shock. “Come, follow me.”
I followed him down a few hallways with Tux prancing along right beside me. Yes, when he walks it looks like he’s prancing. We entered an office similar to the ones in the Harry Potter movies, portraits on the walls and trinkets everywhere. Even Fawkes was sitting next to Dumbledore’s desk. Tux growled at him but Fawkes didn’t even bat an eyelash. I sat down in a comfy chair and Dumbledore sat behind his desk across from me. We just stared at each other for a bit, I personally was trying to figure out if I was dead or in a coma and if this was all in my head or not.
“So...” I said quietly. “Do you know what I’m doing here?” I’m talking. How do I possibly sound so calm?! What’s wrong with me? Why the hell am I here? I must be going completely insane. Then again, look where I’m sitting, I hit insane a long time ago.
“No, I’m sorry, Miss Rose. I have no idea why you are here, I only knew that you were coming.” Dumbledore said smiling softly.
“How?” I asked.
“A previous Divination teacher was part Seer. She saw you arrive but only saw that your purpose was to change the future, not much to go on I’m afraid.” He said, still staring at me. “Now, the real question is what are we going to do with you?”
“Do with me? You need to send me back, that’s what you need to do with me!” I said, a little hysterically. Ah, there it is. I was wondering when I'd start to panic. Hey, you would be hysterical too if you just popped into a fictional world.
“Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure how you managed to get here in the first place.” He leaned back but didn’t break eye contact. “Unless you do.”
“No.” I said quietly and looked down. Then another thought occurred to me and I snapped my head back up. “But what about my family? Won’t they be worried?”
“Time travel is very complicated and traveling to different planes is even more complicated but from what I understand, it will be like you never left when you return. When you return, you should be back around the same time you left. Give or take a few hours depending on how long you’re in our world.”
“Ok...but speaking of your world, what about everything I know? And don’t you dare say ‘what do you mean?’, I know you know exactly what I mean.” I said pointing my finger at him, he just smiled wider. “And what on earth are planes? I get the time travel thing but not planes.”
“Planes are different worlds.” He placed both hands out with their palms up. “Similar but not identical.” He said, putting his hands together so that every finger laid against each other, a mirror image. Their world was a mirror image of my world, like Alice in Wonderland. Sort of. But way cooler. And no talking flowers. Hopefully. But if this is a different plane, how did I- “You have the power to travel between planes and time. In this world, you are known as a Traveler. Yes, strange and unusual but not unheard of. How do you think you know so much about our world? A coincidence?”
"Yes?" I asked hopefully.
"Think a little harder, Miss Rose. I'm sure you'll come to the right conclusion." He answered with a grin.
“You’re saying...” My mind kept going, working out the answer but not sure if I liked it. “That J.K. Rowling...the woman who wrote about Harry Potter...was a Traveler?! But...how...woah.” Mind. Blown. I mean seriously?! This was real and not some coma dream that I’d wake up from in like 6 years? Yet...it made sense. More sense than some random woman creating this entire world with such a complex plot. But to find out that this is all real?
“As to everything you know, you must be here for a reason. Ms. Rowling was sent to your world to tell this story of what will come in the next few years. Maybe the reason you were sent here is-”
“To change it.” I said, coming to the conclusion. Dumbledore nodded. "But won't that change my world?"
"There is a possibility, yes but Ms. Rowling may have been on another plane, where the exact same story will continue. Or since the story has already been written in your world, it may not change at all. If she is indeed on this plane, then yes your world could change a bit."
"So you don't actually know if she's here or not?" I asked, a little shocked. I thought Dumbledore knew everything.
"There are no witches or wizards to my knowledge with that name. I assume it was changed in her transition between worlds. Time travel is a very complicated matter so there is no telling what the outcome will be" He answered.
"And you think it would still be a good idea? To change what will happen?" I asked.
"To save the lives of countless witches, wizards, and Muggles? Yes, I believe that it would be a good idea." He said and paused for a moment. “Although, I do not suggest telling anyone of where you come from or what you know. We live in dangerous times, Miss Rose.” Dumbledore said gravely. The fire light danced in his eyes. A shiver went through me despite the warm fire.
“Then what do I tell everyone? That I’m your niece from America?” I asked sarcastically. Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled in some impossible way, his smile grew larger. My eyes grew wide as I recognized that look. “No! I was kidding!”
He chuckled. Yes, Albus Dumbledore just chuckled at me. “Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of Mr. Potter’s cousin. Your shirt seems to suggest that you two are somewhat related.”
“My-?” I looked down at the Gryffindor crest staring back at me. Crap. I couldn’t have worn any other shirt today? I just had to pick the one the said Potter on the back. And about 300 kids and professors just saw it. “Oh.”
“I will write to James’ father and inform him of our...situation.” He looked at my face, which must have been looking scared, and smiled. “Not the specifics but that you are in danger from Voldemort and we would like to hide you until its safe. Mr. Potter is an Auror and will most likely understand our predicament.”
“Alright.” I agreed. But honestly, what choice did I have at this point? I didn’t know how to get home. Tux leaned against my leg, his eyes drooping. I’d feel bad for my pup except he’s the one who got me into this mess. I stayed silent and thought about things (like the fact that I’m at HOGWARTS!) as Dumbledore wrote to James’ dad. He finished rather quickly and handed the letter to Fawkes. Fawkes swooped out the window and disappeared.
“Now, let’s get you sorted before we head to Diagon Alley to get you some supplies-”
“Excuse me?! I can’t go to school here! I’m not even a witch!” I said with dismay. What was he smoking? You had to be a witch to go to Hogwarts.
“Maybe not in your world but considering the circumstances, I can only assume you are a witch. Hmm, I believe the Sorting Hat will be able to help us with this.” He said standing up. He walked over to a bookcase and waved his wand. The rattiest, dirtiest black hat floated down to him. He turned back to me and slowly placed it on my head.
“Well, Ms. Rose, you aren’t in Jersey anymore.” I jumped a little. I knew what would happen but it still surprised me. Clever. I thought and rolled my eyes. “Sarcastic, and most certainly a witch, a powerful one at that. Now, where to put you? Very intelligent and quite the bookworm, perhaps a Ravenclaw? But you are quite kind, maybe a Hufflepuff?”
I don’t find that very funny. We both know where you’re going to put me so stop stalling. I thought, a little angry that he would even think of putting me in Hufflepuff.
“Maybe you should go to Slytherin. You’ve got quite the temper.”
Don’t even THINK about it.
He chuckled. Damn magical hat chuckling. “Alright, alright don’t get your wand in a knot. GRYFFINDOR!”
“Really? Was it necessary to yell?” I asked out loud.
“Habit.” It replied. I rolled my eyes again and took the thing off my head, handing it back to Dumbledore. He placed it back on the shelf and then turned to me grinning. I swear he must grin all the time, he hasn’t stopped since I met him.
“I believe that answers that question. And now, let us go to Diagon Alley to get you some supplies. We should be back before dinner.” He said walking towards the fireplace. “I, myself, am in need of some new socks.”
“Of course, you are.” I said, rolling my eyes. “But what about money?”
“We have scholarship funds for certain students, I placed aside an amount for you but seeing as our scholarships start first year, yours has built up quite a bit. As I said, I did know you were coming but I wasn’t exactly sure of when.” He said.
“Built up how much?” I asked, raising my eyebrow.
“Enough.” He said with a grin. He moved aside and gestured in the fireplace, holding a pot of green powder. Floo powder. “After you.”
“Where to?” I asked as I grabbed a handful of the powder. It’s not really like powder but more like sand. Well, green sand that sparkles. Tux tried to follow me into the fireplace but I pushed him back. He sat down and whined while giving me those big puppy dog eyes. Literally. “Not this time, bud.”
“The Leaky Cauldron should do.” He said. “Remember, say it clearly or you may end up in a place you’d rather not be.”
“THE LEAKY CAULDRON” I yelled and threw the powder. Different rooms flew in front of my eyes outside the green flames. Finally, it stopped and I rolled out of the fireplace and practically hacked up a lung. Dumbledore on the other hand, stepped out carefully and quite elegantly. I got to my feet and brushed off my shoulders. Dumbledore waved his wand and suddenly my clothes were dust free.
I looked around the grubby pub. Even though it was quite dusty, it was still incredible to be standing here. Dumbledore nodded to the bartender and we made our way to the stone courtyard. He tapped on the bricks which then began to move to form an archway. Cool.
"How about Ollivander's first? You must be eager to get your first wand." Dumbledore suggested.
"Sure." I said shrugging. He was right, I was itching to get a wand. We walked down the crowded Alley teeming with witches and wizards.
The bell rang as we walked into the dimly lit store. Despite the bad lighting and the way it gave off that dirty look, there was wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere. You could tell that this store was Ollivander’s life. A voice reached us before we’d even taken 3 steps inside.
"Ah, Ms. Rose. Pleasure to finally meet you. And Headmaster, what a surprise to see you here." Ollivander said popping out from behind a bookcase filled with wands.
"Just helping Ms. Rose get her supplies, Garrick. She arrived a little later than expected." Dumbledore said standing next to me in the dimly lit shop.
“I see, I see. Now which wand? Which wand? Hmm. Now let me see here." Ollivander walked up a dark aisle and came back with a long box. He opened it and handed me the wand inside. "Oak with dragonheart string, 13 inches, and quite flexible. Go on, give it a wave."
I gave the wand a slight wave and a pile of books that had been rested on the mantle flew onto the floor.
"No, no, not that one." He disappeared again but up a ladder this time. I glanced at Dumbledore but he just smiled back. Ollivander returned with another wand. Pulling off the top of the box, he handed it over to me. "Try this one. Cherry with unicorn hair, 9 inches, very sturdy."
"Unicorn hair?" I asked.
"Yes, now give it a whirl." He said dismissively. I waved the wand and the lamp overhead shattered. I ducked as pieces of glass flew everywhere. "Nope." He said and wandered off again. I placed the wand on the counter and Ollivander came back almost a second later. "Here we are. Sycamore with a phoenix feather core, 12 and 1/4 inches."
I carefully took the wand from his hand and almost instantaneously a light emerged from the wand. I could actually feel the wand, like it had a soul or we were connecting or something. It's hard to explain but it was amazing. I flicked the wand and gold sparks flew out of the end. "Ah! Very good! You know, the wand-"
"Chooses the wizard." I said with a smile. His eyes lit up approvingly.
"Right, you are." Ollivander said, moving towards the cash register and Dumbledore handed him some money. Ollivander looked back up and studied me for a moment. "I think we can expect...many changes with you."
He had no idea. We thanked Ollivander and made our way out of the shop and back into the Alley. Dumbledore pulled out a coin bag and a letter, handing them both to me. I opened the letter to see my Hogwarts acceptance letter and smiled. 6 years late but better late then never. I pulled a supplies list from behind it, taking a look at the things I'd need to get.
"Have you thought about your extra circulars?" Dumbledore asked as we entered Potage's Cauldron Shop.
"How can I have extra circulars? I don't even know basic spells." I said in disbelief. I selected a cauldron, not really knowing the difference between any of them but just getting what the list told me to, a pewter one.
"Professor Slughorn has been hard at work on a special potion that should be able to help with that, I expect that you will be caught up in no time. You've been signed up for all the main courses: Transfiguration, Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic-" I groaned at this and Dumbledore chuckled a bit. "and Charms. Due to your unusual circumstances, I thought I would omit you from Herbology and Astronomy. If you'd like to take those though, you may."
"No, no, I'm good. How many more should I pick?" I asked, thinking back on a few astronomy classes I'd already taken. I liked to look at stars, it was the remembering part that I had trouble with. There were SO many of them! We walked up to the cashier and Dumbledore helped me figure out how to count my money. Knuts, sickles, and galleons, oh my. We continued our conversation as we walked back out into the Alley.
"2 more should do. You have not had the course load that your peers have had over the years, I think you'll find yourself overwhelmed if you take any more." He said.
"I see." I thought hard as we walked, thinking back to the books and which subjects would be the most interesting. I finally made my decision. "I think Care of Magical Creatures and Muggle Studies." He raised an eyebrow on the last one. I shrugged. "You said it would be hard, might as well pick an easy subject for one class."
"Fair enough. May I see your supply list?" I handed over the list and he waved his wand. He handed it back to me and I saw that there were a few more items added. "So where would you like to go next?"
A/N: YAAAY! Chapter 2! And you get to see Sirius and co. ...not sure when I'll be updating next but hopefully it won't be more than 2 weeks...I'm heading off to obx in a few days and won't be back for a week...good news is I'll be able to write so I'll some chapters hopefully ready when I get back!...let me know what you think! :)
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