Chapter 3 : The Plan
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“Are we all clear?” Al asked
“Good. James, you know what to do.”
James shot Al a thumb up and left the compartment with a wink. The door clicked as James went walking off to find the unfortunate first year that would come victim to our plot.
“I hope this works, Astra.” Lily began, “I don’t even want to think what they’d do to you if they found out you weren’t a-“
“Lily! Stop right there! You were about to tell Astra that we’re...y’know...” Al trailed off at the end, his eyes pleading with his sister to understand as her ran his hand through his dishevelled, chestnut hair.
“’Y’know’?” retorted Lily, “No Al, to be quite honest I don’t know.” She could be quite the devil when she wanted to be that Lily Potter. And actually, for once in our lives, that trait of hers was coming to good use.
“We can’t tell her Lily! We’d get in shit loads of trouble and you know it.” Al glared at his sister, daring her to come back at him.
“Yes, Albus, I know the trouble we could get in, but she’s going to find out soon enough, isn’t she?”
“And ‘she’ is sitting right here thank you very much.” I said, crossing my arms over my chest as I flopped into the back of my seat.
“Not yet Lily though, just wait until James gets back.” Al compromised, knowing he’d lost to his younger sibling.
A smug smile of victory spread across Lily’s face, as she recognised the battle she’s won against her brother.
I stared out the window as our booth fell into a tense silence.
“What is that?” I exclaimed, eyes bugging out of my head as I saw the majestic castle a few miles away. As night began to fall, it was bathed in an orange glow, causing a breathtaking shadow to frame the grounds of the medieval structure. Towers spiralled up from its grounds, looking like guards that protected the palace from any oncoming attacks. The sheer size and beauty of the place was enough to take anyone’s breath away.
“Oh, that.” Al said, sounding matter of fact, “That’s Hogwarts.”
“It’s gorgeous.” I whispered dreamily, my mouth hanging open with the wonder that was before my eyes. If only I’d had my camera with me, sigh, I would’ve been able to take some gorgeous photos.
“Aha!” I cried, as I pulled out my phone from my pocket.
“What’re you ‘aha’-ing about?” Lily asked, seeming bored and uninterested in my little epiphany.
“Doesn’t matter.” I mumbled, acting like a naughty school child as I scuffed my foot against the worn, dark blue carpet.
I unlocked my phone and snapped a few photos, but they didn’t turn out great with a window being between the view and all.
The silence continued and, even though I didn’t believe it were possible, became even more flaming awkward and tense.
“For fucks sake, when is James going to get back.” Al muttered to himself as he continued his rant on how he didn’t want to be here helping out his sisters, and I quote, ‘stupid, little friend’.
Well, thanks a bunch, Al, nice to know you think so highly of me.
It was that moment that James came back, a proud smile plastered on his face.
“I got it.” he said with a grin.
“Hallelujah.” Al replied sarcastically.
“Aw, come on Mr Grumpy Shit, were doing this to help Astra, you’re ickle sister’s bestest buddy, at least smile about it.” James pinched Al’s cheeks like he was a two year old kid. I’ve got to admit, it was quite funny.
“Fuck off you twat.” Al slapped James’ hands away getting in a huff.
“Well, someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.” James rolled his eyes, and then raised his eyebrows at me and Lily as if asking ‘what’s his problem?’ We both replied with an honest shrug.
“Crap.” I cursed as the train came to a sudden halt.
I peered out the window to see why we had stopped and saw that we had arrived at the station, which I guessed was for Hogwarts.
Al instantly stood up and stormed off the train with his luggage. James was right, he had got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.
“Astra, if you’re going to fit in, you’ll need this.” James said sternly, holding out a stick, much like the one he cherished.
“Wow, a stick,” I replied sarcastically, “that’ll definitely make me fit in...at the mental ward!”
“I’m serious, Astra, you need this.” James replied.
“Ok, ok, I’ll take the bloody stick!” I gave in, taking the wooden stick from his hand.
“We’ll see you later, James; I’ll take Astra with me to the Great Hall.” Lily said as she began dragging me from the train.
“Ok, good luck.” He smiled and winked then left in the opposite direction to us.
I knew the plan. For me, my only job was to go along with the rest of the ‘first years’, as they were apparently called, and stick with Lily. If we got separated...well, I just hoped it would never come to that, but if we did, I would be in deep, dog shit.
“Astra, we’ve got to go to the boats with the rest of the first years. We’ve got to be in the same boat or else God knows what might happen.” Lily began marching off to the docks just outside the station, where at least a hundred small rowing boats were moored. In each boat, a lantern hung at the stern, illuminating the otherwise pitch, black night.
In the distance, the castle that I’d seem earlier sat atop a hill, looking as majestic as earlier. To the right, further down the hill, a little village sat, the lights from the houses and shops emblazoning the night with golden-yellow rays. The view seemed so familiar, yet I was sure I’d never seen it before. It was just a little niggling at the back of my head, like someone rattling a door that held the memory but it was locked.
That was going to annoy me all night.
“Come on!” Lily yelled, jumping eagerly into one of the boats.
A smile spread across my face as I followed Lily into the boat, sitting on one of the cushioned benches.
Whispers flew around us like fireflies, as people stared up in wonder at the castle and began making friends with the people they would go to school with. I heard talk of wands and magic but decided to dismiss it as one of those books that people are so obsessed with about that wizard boy who saved the world from an evil sorcerer guy and his minions.
Another whisper that I was also intrigued by was that ‘the infamous Lily Potter was over there with that blonde girl.’ I never knew there was another Lily Potter. The Lily Potter that was sitting across from me was certainly not famous, I’m sure I would’ve known if she was, seeming as she’s my best friend and all.
“Who are they talking about?” I asked Lily, gesturing to the whispering bunch behind us that were pointing in our direction.
“I don’t know.” Lily answered nervously. Ok, she was hiding something from me.
“Well,” I began, “I just heard them mention your name and that you were famous. Unless there are any other Lily Potter’s around here...”
“Nope, I don’t think there are any others.” She then leant into me and whispered, “I’ll explain it all later.”
“You better had do!”
This was really frustrating not knowing where the hell I was or what I was meant to do. I sighed as the boat began to automatically move by itself.
It seemed that the whisperers had boarded their own boats and were slowly moving in the same direction as us.
Cue awkward silence...and it continues...and-
“Hey, I’m Drake, you must be Lily Potter.” A guy said from the boat next to us. He had short brown hair and diamond-like blue eyes that reflected the light back to us. He showed his dimples to us as he smiled at us.
“Yes, I am.” Lily replied confidently.
“And who’s your friend?” Drake asked.
“Hi, I’m Astra.” I smiled shyly and waved my hand a little.
He flipped me off. With a little wave of his hand, he just dismissed me like some kind of slave or lower being. Oh, if he thought he’d get away with that lightly, he was dead wrong.
“So, Lily, what house do you want to be sorted int-SHIT!” Ha! That served the prick right.
I just shoved the dick into the probably, freezing cold lake.
“That’s what you get for flipping off Astra De Angelis you prick!” I yelled and held my hand up to Lily for a high five. She just stared at me in shock for a moment. Then her face broke out into a smile and she slapped my hand and began laughing at the now shivering idiot that I’d shoved into the water. His mate sat there laughing at him as well, obviously finding it hilarious.
“With girls like that in our year I might just survive Hogwarts.” Drake’s mate murmured with a smile stretched out on his face.
“Do you want to be next?” I taunted, “Because that can be arranged.” I began to stretch out to push him in as well.
“No! No!” He panicked, waving his hands frantically, “I was just admiring your...tactics.”
“So, who are you?” I asked bluntly.
“Leoardo McCormack but you can call me Leo.”
“Erm, where’s Drake gone?” Lily asked looking behind us to see where Drake had gone.
“No i-dea.” I replied, leaning back in the boat, as relaxed as could be.
It was then that I saw Leo snickering and looking behind me, looking at Lily, then sweeping his golden-grass eyes over to the water behind me.
“What?” I asked confused, wondering what the hell was that interesting behind me in the murky black waters. I turned as Lily joined in with Leo’s giggles to see a hand reach out and drag me into the depths.
“You little fucker!” I screamed as everyone around me erupted into hysterics.
I whirled in the water to find the culprit right in front of me. It was to be expected that he would get payback but I was shocked that he had the balls to do it.
“And that’s what you get for shoving Drake Kingsley into the Black lake bitch.”
The boats parted behind us to form an aisle, through which one of the teacher’s boats came through.
“What’s happening here?” a Scottish female voice asked.
When I saw the woman, she seemed to have an air of elegance about her, with her grey hair neatly arranged in a tight bun on the back of her head; a pair of glasses perched on her slim nose.
She whisked one of them sticks out of her robes and pointed it at me and Drake. She flicked the stick and me and Drake instantly rose out of the water and into her boat. With another flick, we were instantly dry.
My mouth dropped open in shock, wondering how she’d done all that with one stick and a few flicks.
“Now, who do we have here?” She asked, looking at us down her nose.
“Drake Kingsley, Professor.” Drake looked shit-scared of this woman so I’m guessing I should be nervous too.
“And...” she glared, getting impatient.
“Ermmmm...” I looked to Lily for a vote of confidence. She widened her eyes telling me to go on and tell her. “Astra, Miss, Astra De Angelis.”
“Well, Mr Kingsley and Miss De Angelis, I believe you will be making the rest of this trip in my boat so say good bye to Miss Potter and your friends.”
My eyes widened as I pleaded with Lily to do something but she shook her head and gestured subtly to the castle.
I slumped back into the boat, admitting defeat as I pondered over the day’s events and the loophole in our little plan to sneak me into Hogwarts undetected.
The fleet of boats continued over the lake, gliding over the smooth, glass-like surface, in a perfect triangular formation, advancing slowly towards the castle. Gentle gusts of wind caused the lanterns to swing like a pendulum for a few minutes at a time, the only distraction on this little boat trip disaster.
A/N - Thanks for all you guys that have read this so far :) I hope your enjoying it so far and might just want to know more. I'm sorry that not much plot has come out but hopefully soon maybe there might be a bit more on there :) Stick with me here please and I'll try and get to the good stuff no later than chapter 5...pinky swear!
If you want to deign this little chappie with a few loving or helpful words I'm sure it would appreciate it. Don't be afraid to put 'constructive criticisms' in also I'm always extremely happy (aka would hit the ceiling and jump off the walls) to know what you think, both positive and negative.
Keep writing guys ;)
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