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Chapter 2 : Bye, Bye Summer, Hello High School
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Bow down to my extensive vocabulary (not).
I really am sorry for my extra crappy language this morning, but I assure you, that is the only way in this universe to describe what I was wearing.
I know your probably thinking ‘Eh, it can’t be that bad.’ but, my friend, I beg to differ.
If you haven’t figured out, one of my personality traits is also that I’m extremely melodramatic. Making mountains out of molehills etc etc.
Ok, now back to the point: my school uniform. Granted, they didn’t make us wear a tie, which is definitely a bonus, but instead they make us wear horrific lime green polo shirts. As you well know, I’m not one to normally bother about fashion and all that but this colour could blind the guys up there on a space station; it was that bad. AND to top it all off, they made all the girls wear...a skirt. Seriously, a bloody skirt that was black and so tight I ended up waddling like a penguin instead of walking. How I am meant to run away from thugs and rapists in this thing I have no idea.
“Astra, you’re going to be late for introduction day, our train is in fifteen minutes!”
Thanks for reminding me Mum.
So, today I would be going to Southfield Academy’s little introduction day instead of enjoying one of my last days of freedom. Today, according to my ever accurate calendar, is Sunday 1st of September 2019. The significance of this date, you ask? Well, it’s only the day when the newest Call of Duty game comes out (duh).
Instead of rushing to the nearest game store with Al and James, I would be sitting in the main hall of my new prison, I mean school, listening to Headmaster Peterson droning on and on about rules and all that jazz.
“Astraeus De Angelis,” Oh no, not the full name, Mum meant business if she pulled that out “get down here now!”
“Coming Mum, just got to put some shoes on!” I yelled down the stairs.
Hopping from foot to foot, I put on my new school shoes that were freshly polished and fresh off the shelf. Believe me; they won’t be like that for long.
I galloped down the stairs as fast as I could in the stupid penguin skirt, trying not to trip over my feet. I just about made it down the stairs without tripping over. That made the score Astra: 1 Penguin Skirt: 0. Ha, penguin skirt, just ha.
I spoke too soon to myself though. Once I reached the bottom step, I tried to leap around the banister but with the penguin skirt being so tight; my legs were almost stuck together, meaning I fell flat on my face. Well, that evened out the score.
“Astra, get up off the floor NOW. We need to get to the train station.” Mum loomed over me, looking like a giant from this angle. Scratch that, an angry giant that wanted to grab me by the luminous green collar and drag me to Southfields Academy.
I pushed myself up from the beige, carpeted floor and waddled down the hallway to the back door.
Needless to say, that five minute walk to the train station was one of the most awkward walks I’d ever had in my entire life. This time, I’m not being melodramatic.
Ok, maybe a smidgen.
One thing I forgot to mention is that I live pretty much in the middle of London. Not ‘I’m right next to Hamleys and Harrods’ close but close enough that I was only a five minute walk from Kings Cross Station.
The only bonus to seeing the red criss-crossed lines of a train station sign at this moment in time was the fact that it meant the awkward walk was over. Whoop! Whoop!
BUT, and this is a hugemongous but, it also meant that it was almost times to walk the corridors of my new school.
At the station, I got a few weird stares and laughs, but I’ve gone past caring now. I might just go into some kind of mind coma so I don’t have to pay attention to: a) my Mum, b) my new school and c) the fact that my best friend Lily Potter will probably ditch me for some better best friend *sniff*.
Blankly, I stared up at the screen that told me that my train would depart from platform 9 at 11:02. Yippee (not).
More silence from the Mother as we walked to the platform to wait for our train.
The digital clock’s orange lights showed that the time was 10:57. Ha, not so late are we now Mum? I wasn’t about to say that to her face though, God no. I’d already faced the wrath enough for one day, especially this day.
The metal seat met my bum and I relaxed as I waited for the train to arrive in the station to take me away to my metaphorical hell.
I sighed, wondering how bad this really, actually, would be. Possibly, maybe, I was overreacting and things wouldn’t be so bad without Lily and she wouldn’t replace me full time. Maybe our best friendship could survive and we could still do everything we always did in the holidays.
Lily told me that her new school was a boarding school, so she wouldn’t be around during term time at all. It’s not as if I had Albus or James to keep me company on my Xbox either; they go to that school as well.
A whistle blew, waking me from my little moment inside my head.
“Astra,” My Mum regained the ability to speak, “I’m just going to nip the loo; I’ll be back in a minute.”
I was so shocked that she decided to talk to me; I only deigned her with an “Ok” as a response.
Wow. That was a new record. Normally after she got that annoyed with me, she would ignore me for at least half an hour. This time it was only...fifteen minutes. Well, all things happen for a reason.
My brain has officially been killed today. It’s also decided to hallucinate as I can now see Lily and her family walking onto the platform. I could tell it was her because of her bright ginger hair, or as she liked to call it ‘strawberry blonde’. She was definitely in denial.
Oh wait, a light bulb went off in my head. Now, don’t go all prejudice against blondes, I do have light bulb moments quite often and I’m no ditz so put all that out of your mind.
Back to the little light bulb, I realised that Lily did say she had to go to Kings Cross to get to school today at around eleven. I thought it a bit bizarre at the time that school would start at such a weird time but at that moment, my brain didn’t exactly bother to register that minor detail.
I ran like a mad cavewoman-penguin hybrid as I tried to get to Lily to say our final goodbye until Christmas.
WHAT THE HELL! Her and her family just disappeared through a wall. My brain is 100% frazzled and has gone into shut down mode.
Cautiously, I approached the pillar of bricks in between platform 9 and 10. I put my hand out; touched the wall. JesusMaryJoseph, it moved! Ok, this is not normal. Maybe it’s just a dream. Come on Astra, wake up.
So, there I was, in the middle of Kings Cross Station, pinching my arm as hard as was humanly possible.
“Excuse me.” A slightly annoyed, male voice came from behind me, “do you mind going through?”
The man had platinum, blonde hair and stormy, silver eyes. He looked like me a bit really but to be honest, I was too shocked by the rippling wall to realise the uncanny resemblance between us.
“Is this your first year?” A young boy who looked a few years older than me asked.
“Um...yeah.” I replied.
“Just step through, it won’t hurt, I promise. I’m Scorpius by the way.” The boy smiled at me reassuringly, gesturing towards the wall.
I gulped then said, “Ok...” Deep breathes, Astra, deeeeeeep breathes.
I took a step forwards. My foot slipped easily through the red and brown brickwork. With a final huff of breath, I plunged through the wall and onto a bustling platform.
The sign that hung above the concrete ground told me that it was platform 9 ¾. I never knew this platform even existed. I glanced back at the wall I had come through to see Scorpius and an array of other people coming through.
Where the frig was I? How was I meant to get back to Mum?
One hurdle at a time, Astra. My best choice at this moment in time would be to stay on the platform until it cleared a little, and then find someone who could help. As long as I didn’t get on the ruby train in front of me, which I had no idea where it went, I’d be fine. Fat chance. I was Astra De Angelis for Christ’s sake, since when did my life ever go smoothly.
The seconds hand ticked around on a black and ivory clock that hung from a metal bar above everyone’s heads.
“All aboard!” Someone shouted and a surge of people flooded towards the carriages. With luck on my side, I managed to stay put in my position on the platform...I wish. A bunch of burly, older-looking lads charged towards me and took me along with them onto one of the carriages.
I flew head first, into the train and got up just as the doors closed and the train set off.
I watched as a parent waved to their kids as they left to go to God knows where. I was defeated.
I slumped against the train door and sat there. I bet, you’re thinking now ‘Come on Astra, get your arse into gear and do something!’ but, y’know what, I can’t do anything. I just didn’t have the energy to.
For what seemed like hours, I sat there, in that exact same position of my legs being tucked up to my chest with my arms wrapped around them in a protective embrace.
I hated feeling this way, defeated and lonely I mean. I suppose that sitting here moping and being the sulk-meister wasn’t going to help anything. Maybe sitting and reviewing everything might help. It’s time for the two-sided self conversation.
‘Ok, Astra,’ the first internal voice began ‘why did you get onto this stupid train in the first place?’
I thought; then came up with the response of ‘I was shoved by burly boys from the platform. They were too strong so ended up dragging me on with them.’
‘Ok, next question: why did you get on the platform?’
‘Urmmmm...I saw Lily!’ Realisation hit me like an underground train ‘Thank you internal psychoanalyst!’
All I had to do was search the train for Lily. Surely if she came onto the platform, she would be on the train, right? If not, I could always try and find that Scorpius lad who had helped me earlier. He seemed nice enough and would probably help me out.
Ok, come on Astra, you can do this thing!
Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive began playing through my head.
With a new found confidence boosting my mood, I launched myself up to the centre of the carriage...just as someone walked in.
Good timing there Astra.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry. I’m such a clumsy clots...” I trailed off as recognition passed over the guy’s face.
“Astra?” Well at least I’d found someone I knew.
“Hi, James.” I gave him a wave and a watery smile.
“What the...” His face was etched in a look of shock. He even pinched his arm, blinked multiple times, and then looked the other way, having to do a double take.
“How the...what the...Merlin, when...” This was the first time that James had ever been rendered speechless; I mean that literally.
He shook his head, clearing his head of all the confusion he was clearly going through, then grabbed my wrist and dragged me through the carriage to the only empty compartment.
“Astra, how the hell did you get on this train? How did you get on the platform?”
“Well,” I began as I told him all about seeing Lily and discovering the platform and getting shoved on the train by the burly boys.
“Shit.” He cursed. Well, that made me feel wanted. “What am I gunna do, she’s not meant to be here, how could a muggle find the Hogwarts Express?” James muttered to himself as he paced in the small space.
“’She’ is sitting right here, James, and what the hell is Hogwarts?” This is the moment in time where I sit there thinking over what I’ve just said thinking ‘was that a really stupid question?’
“Hogwarts is a school, Astra, the one that me, Al and Lily go to.”
“How come Lily never mentioned this school before? What is it like some top secret training camp for...spies or whatever?” I joked, laughing a little. Ok...awkward. He just stood there, looking at me as if I’d hit the nail on the head.
“Wait, you’ve – you’ve got to be kidding me.” His serious expression said otherwise.
“Nope.” He replied, “You’ve kind of got the jist of it.”
“So you’re spies!” That’s pretty cool actually. My best friend and her family are spies. Ha, never thought I’d be thinking that.
“No, no.” Damn, thanks for squashing my dream of having a spy as a friend, “We’re not spies, we’re...eurgh! This is so hard to explain without telling you!” He started tugging at his hair in frustration.
“Now, now, James, don’t get your knickers in a twist. Why can’t you tell me?”
“I just can’t, Astra. It’d get me in deep, deep trouble with...eurgh! I can’t even tell you that without giving it all away!” He huffed; then sharply said “I’m going to get Lily.”
And with that, he left me on my own on the train to mentalville. I’m seriously starting to think that this school called ‘Hogwarts’ is going to be a place where they send the mentally ill. James has really started to worry me; he never gets that wound up, even that time when me and Lily destroyed his beloved stick.
Speaking of that time, why the hell does he have that random stick that he loves so much? It’s just plain weird. I’m beginning to think that I was right and this is a train to a mental asylum.
I sighed and just stared out of the window, wondering where the hell I was. Trees and fields whizzed past, not a sign or station to indicate my whereabouts at all.
Rain began to fall and spatter the pane of glass between me and the countryside. It seemed hours since I’d been on that platform, seen my Mum, been in a place where I knew.
A stampede of older lads hurtled down the corridor, snickering among each other. It was obvious they’d done something but what, I wasn’t sure. Cautiously, I poked my head out of my compartment, trying to find the crime scene that I was sure to find.
To my surprise, I saw Albus, Lily’s brother, standing there, an expression of shock evident in his evergreen eyes.
“Astra?” His mouth fell open.
“Hey, Al, I’m guessing James hasn’t told you I’m here then?” I said, trying to act as nonchalant as possible. He just stood there like the gorm he is, catching metaphorical flies in his gaping mouth.
“How the...what the-“
“Not this again,” I sighed, “I’ve already had the whole ‘what the hell’ conversation with your brother and the only thing I’ve found out is we’re heading to a school called Hogwarts. Can you give me any more information?”
Wow, Al, you’re an amazing help just standing there doing absolutely nothing.
Calm, Astra, calm.
“I’ll take that as a no then.” I snapped, trying to contain my frustration.
“Astra...” Al seemed to be having a little internal war inside as his conflicting emotions played across his face like a movie for me to watch. “Astra,” he began again, “I can’t tell you much more than you already know. Hogwarts is in Scotland and is a school for...certain people. It’s an exclusive place and if anyone finds out you’re here...well, I don’t know what could happen to you.”
Thanks for the vote of confidence over there, Al. I put my hand to my forehead and said “Al, this just doesn’t make any sense. I get your going to school and all but why can’t anyone know I’m here? It’s not as if they’re going to kill me or anything...are they?” I had no idea anymore; I was half expecting him to say that they would kill me.
He let out an unnatural laugh hat sounded rather forced, then replied “No, they won’t kill you but the professors will go berserk. What we’re going to have to do is going to be rather risky but it might just work...” Al began tapping his chin thoughtfully as he concocted his plan.
Lily and James came bursting into the carriage seconds later, clearly out of breath from rushing around the train.
“Hey Lil” I said, putting on a smile.
“Astra!” Lily ran up to me and dragged me into the compartment me and James had been in earlier.
“Nice to see you too Lil.” I muttered.
“Astra, no one can know you’re on this train except the three of us, ok?”
I nodded, feeling like a kid being told to stay put by their parents.
“Ok, I have a plan.” Al announced confidently.
Silence fell over the four of us, the tension becoming too much to bear.
“Well then,” James prompted, “what is it?”
“This is what we’re going to have to do...”
A/N: Thanks for reading all! Hope you have enjoyed this chapter and want to read more (but if you don't...that's ok too...I might just be a little sad about it :'() Anywho, this is NOT a muggle goes to Hogwarts story (despite what the title hints). The reasons behind this rather huge plotline shall be revealed as the story goes on (although you EXTREMELY observant people may be able to take a guess).
Also, if you're looking for something else to read, you can check out my best friend Half_Empty's stuff!!! She's pretty amazing (but I'm a little bias) so go check out her page. She's on my favourite authors list so just go through there if you want.
Reviews would be much appreciated as I'm still awaiting that all important first...*nudge nudge wink wink*.
Thank you. Muchas Gracias.
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