Chapter One: Of Nutters and A Familiar Beginning
LOOK YONDER! I DO BELIEVE THIS IS A READER!
Welcome to my first fanfic. If, for some miraculous reason, you find this chappie worthy, feel free to drop a review. Or not. I don’t care.
(I lie. I care. Reviews are nice.)
SO IT BEGINS!
According to my dad, time is relative.
I’M SORRY, FATHER DEAREST, BUT TIME IS IN FACT NOT RELATIVE. It’s not. I’ve checked.
I bet you want to know why my father thinks time is relative.
Alright, you probably don’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway, since I’m all by my lonesome.
Mr Thomas (aka my father) thinks it’s alright to drop his only daughter to Kings Cross station at the obscenely early hour of 7 O’CLOCK on the 1st of September, where she must wait by herself for FOUR HOURS until her magical red train shows up on a secret platform. IT’S NOT COOL, FATHER. YOU JUST DON’T DO THINGS LIKE THAT.
You probably think I’m on crack right now, which is understandable, since I just talked about magic as if it were real. But it is real. I even have a wand, whose name is Harold. Made of mahogany, twelve inches long with a big ol’ unicorn hair stuffed up its rear end.
I’m also cursed with a smaller-than-average and extremely PMS-prone owl, who is currently amusing himself with biting the ends of my chocolate-brown hair, which is already at its ultimate frizz capacity. There’s no better way than to start your sixth year at Hogwarts with a head of hair that resembles an afro.
‘Larry,’ I snapped, addressing that freaking hyperactive owl, ‘Stop biting my flipping hair! I need it, you know! My hair is precious. I need it to, er, keep my head warm! Cold heads are the worst.’
Not surprisingly, I was greeted by weird stares from the HUNDREDS of Muggles who were passing me by, probably thinking of me as a crazy owl lady.
If I were to die, like right now, on my tombstone it would bear the words: Halle Thomas. Loner & Crazy Owl Lady.
As you’ve probably already discerned, I have a cool life.
Deciding I just couldn’t take it anymore, I jumped up (startling quite a few hobos who were having a morning nap at the train station, you know, as you do) and began hauling my trunk behind me.
‘Stupid trunk,’ I muttered under my breath, ‘Why are my arms so weak?’
‘Need any help with that?’ asked a voice from behind me.
My eyes bugged out, as the voice was deep. Masculine. Definitely male. Dear Merlin, I was not good when it came to boys I didn’t know.
I tried putting on a seductive smile as I turned around, but my face fell short, before breaking out into a huge grin.
‘Jordin!’ I squealed, throwing my arms around him. It earned us a few dirty glares from passing Muggles, but hey, I was going to hug my best friend even if it killed me.
‘Hey, Halle. Good to see you too,’ he said, tightening his arms around my waist before grabbing my trunk, ‘What time did you get dropped off this morning?’
‘Seven! Can you believe the nerve of my father? And you know what his excuse was this time?’ I began ranting. As one of my best friends, it was his duty to put up with my teenage angst rants.
‘What?’ Jordin asked fondly.
‘He said that time was relative! What does that even mean? I’ve been waiting here by myself for three hours, and the train doesn’t leave for another whole sixty minutes!’
He chuckled, ‘Did it ever occur to you that you could have gotten us a carriage on the train instead of waiting out here like a nutter?’
Whoops. I might have forgotten about that. But there was no way I’d admit that to Jordin. I will get that boy for insulting my honour! Frantically wracking my Ravenclaw-brain, I wanted to slap myself when the best I could come up with was, ‘Shut up.’
He broke out into hysterical laughter and leaned casually against the barriers between platforms nine and ten, disappearing amongst the stones. Begrudgingly, I followed him, Larry tweeting annoyingly by my side.
Jordin sped along ahead, mumbling something about procuring us a train carriage. And yes, he was a sixth year Ravenclaw who used the word procuring in a sentence. And it was exactly why I loved him. And I can see your eyes widening in surprise and your eyebrows wagging suggestively. No, I do not love Jordin in that way. It would be like, dating my brother. Jordin was my nerdy, geeky older brother; and unless I wanted to partake in incest, I wouldn’t be dating that fellow anytime soon.
More likely than not, Jordin was probably already nestled in a corner of a carriage, nose tucked away into a book. He really lived up to the stereotype of a book-wormish Ravenclaw.
Not wanting to spend the next hour annoying him while he continued to ignore me and read; I instead wandered around the platform, looking for the remaining third of our trio.
Our trio (also known as the ‘Claw Crew, courtesy of yours truly) consisted of me, Jordin and Elle since the beginning of Hogwarts.
We’ve all been best friends ever since we were squished into the same compartment together on the trip to Hogwarts back in first year.
I, being my strange self, suddenly had the urge to start quoting tales from The Beedle and the Bard. Apparently even as an eleven-year-old I had similar tendencies to a drug dealer. Go figure.
Anyway, both Jordin and Elle joined in, both a little reluctantly, but by the end of the Tale of the Three Brothers, we were laughing so hard it felt like my tummy would explode.
BOOM. Instant friendship. Just like that.
‘Elle!’ I yelled, spotting her mop of blonde hair in the thin crowd easily, ‘You came early this year!’
She smiled and nodded, ‘I came as early as possible, you know, since you’re always here at seven,’ she said, pulling me into a bone-crunching huge.
‘That’s so sweet!’ I beamed; grabbing onto the end of her trunk to help her heave it onto the train. Suddenly and without warning, a very loud, raucous sound poured into the relatively empty platform and I dropped the trunk straight onto my toe.
‘OW! OW! TRUNK ON THE TOE! TRUNK ON THE TOE!’ I yelped, hopping around on one foot, because, you know, I WAS IN UTMOST PAIN.
I glared at the source of the noise; a huge group of at least fifteen wizards who had just toppled through the platform, the majority of them having ginger coloured hair.
It was none other than the Weasley-Potter clan. Or as the cool kids call them, the Wotter clan.
Elle shot me an unsurprised glance, since I may have a slight tendency to drop things onto my toe, and said, with a cynical eyebrow raise, ‘We’re not even at Hogwarts yet and you’ve already injured yourself. Are you alright?’
Argh, I hated it when she did that. I have always lacked the capability to raise my eyebrows in a singular fashion. And it has haunted me ever since everyone in the entire freaking school can do it but me. I can get straight E’s and O’s in my OWL’s, but can I raise an eyebrow?
I scowled, ‘MY TOE IS BEING TORTURED BY PAIN CELLS. DO I LOOK ALRIGHT?’
She grinned, ‘Well I’m going to find Jordin, are you coming?’
I pouted, ‘I’ll go say hi to Albus first,’ I said, waving in the general direction of the Wotter clan, who were hooting and hollering and giving me a headache with their mere presence.
She hugged me once more before bounding onto the train, her blonde hair flying every which-way.
The Wotter clan often came early to the train also, since they were famous and all that shit. The less people on the platform, the less likely they’d be, I dunno, hounded by fangirls from Hogwarts.
Yeah, I know, fangirls are weird.
Al was waving madly at me as I approached, and I even got a smile from Mr I’m-the-boy-who-lived.
‘Hellooooooo Albus! Oh how I’ve missed seeing that darling face of yours!’ I exclaimed, clutching my hand to my heart over-dramatically.
Albus chuckled and embraced me in a hug which rivalled Elle’s in all its bone crushing glory. Me and Al had been pretty tight since fifth year, when we became potions partners. Well, he was in fourth year, I was in fifth year. The crazy little genius was put in the class above him.
Stupid gifted child.
‘Oh Miss Thomas, I have not missed your horrible jokes at all!’ he declared, patting me condescendingly on the head.
Ginny, ahem, Mrs Potter smiled fondly at me. ‘Hello Halle, I haven’t seen you in a while. Your father doing good?’
I returned the smile and nodded, ‘Fantastic. Top of the flop. Tip-top shape and all that,’ I replied.
‘You certainly have a way with words, dear,’ she answered, a smile tugging at her lips before turning back into the frenzy that was the Wotter’s.
I looked at Albus and ruffled his perfectly made hair. ‘See you at Hogwarts; I’ve already come up with some kick-ass Quidditch plays that’ll trash Slytherin.’
Yes, you are speaking to the Head of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, and the best darn seeker since Harry Potter.
At least, that’s what I like to think.
Clearly annoyed, Albus patted his hair back down. Once he was done he gave me a sly grin which meant that he knew something I didn’t. I hated that grin. As a Ravenclaw I felt I had a house duty to know as much as I could.
‘I don’t think the school will have time for Quidditch this year,’ he said, even going so far to give me a cheesy wink.
‘Hell will freeze over before Hogwarts doesn’t have time for Quidditch,’ I answered simply. Because I was right. Quidditch was one of the best things about Hogwarts; they couldn’t just take it away! We actually had a chance at beating Hufflepuff this year!
(Who would have thought that Hufflepuff would become the reigning school champions? Well, with a seeker like Lily Potter, you could expect nothing less.)
Shrugging, Albus hugged me one last time before walking away. I stared questioningly after the boy. Hogwarts always had time for Quidditch.
I slid into the compartment which Jordin had successfully procured and beamed at my friends, ‘Well doesn’t this remind you of old times? Why I do believe it was but five years ago when I started talking to myself in this very train compartment,’ I said, seating myself next to Elle and heaving my legs onto Jordin’s lap.
‘Actually, it was that carriage over there,’ Elle said, immediately picking up on the mistake due to her photographic memory.
I smiled at her, ‘Your memory will never cease to amaze me.’
Just as she was about to reply our compartment door was forced open by none other than Dominique and Freddie. The two Weasley cousins toppled into our carriage, both looking extremely excited and red in the face.
‘And to what do we owe this pleasure?’ asked Elle, a blush ever so slowly spreading to her cheeks. She had it bad for dear old Freddie ever since third year, but has been too chicken to do anything about it. Ravenclaw traits are sadly lacking in the courage factor, so she’d been the epitome of cowardly in any romantic situations with her and her beloved.
In a nutshell; she had no backbone.
Still giggling, the pair sank into the seats, acting a little too giddy to be sober. ‘Are you guys drunk already? We’re not even at school yet!’ I shrieked, slapping Freddie for good measure.
He scowled and rubbed his cheek, ‘The slap was unnecessary.’
I smiled at him, ‘Slapping you is always necessary. Plus it’s fun.’
Dom laughed, ‘We just came to say hi to our favourite Ravenclaws,’ she said, throwing her arms around me in an over-emotional Veela hug.
‘And we wanted to know whether or not you’ve heard,’ Freddie said in a sing-song voice.
‘Heard what?’ asked Jordin, suffering the same anxiety as me, since we both always wanted to know, well everything.
Dom squealed, as she loved to be the bringer of gossip. ‘You guy’s seriously haven’t heard?’
Now I became slightly annoyed. First Al and now these two. What was with these exclusive Wotter’s?
‘Patience. Wearing. Thin.’ I dramatized, pretending to faint onto Freddie.
Fred just rolled his eyes, as he was accustomed to my dramatics, ‘I’ve totally missed you, Halle,’ he said, ruffling my head affectionately. He then tugged on Dominique’s wrist, ‘We shouldn’t spoil the surprise for you.’
‘Wait!’ Elle yelled, clasping onto his wrist, ‘You can’t just introduce a surprise and not tell it. It’s against the law.’ She said, quickly retracting her hand and placing it on her cheek.
Fred raised an amused eyebrow. Curses, can everyone do that but me? ‘What law exactly am I violating?’
‘The law of being a dickhead. I do believe you’re breaking it as we speak with the eyebrow raising,’ replied Elle, a smile on her lips.
‘Well, we don’t want to bother you anymore with my silly old cousin’s dick-headiness. We shall be off!’ proclaimed Dom, squeezing my cheeks as she passed.
‘Ow!’ I complained, rubbing my cheek violently, ‘Love you too Dominique Weasley.’
She sent me a dazzling part-Veela smile as they exited the compartment, ‘Be prepared. This is going to be epic,’ she declared, before giving us a twirl and shutting the door.
Once the train had docked at Hogsmede and one Thestral-powered carriage ride later, Jordin, Elle and I sat around the Ravenclaw table, absolutely immersing ourselves in the famous Hogwarts Feast. The amiable chattering which was spread across the hall ceased to exist as our beloved headmaster, Minerva McGonagall took to the stage.
‘Attention all!’ she cried and everyone’s head’s turned towards the front of the hall. ‘Welcome one and welcome all to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am Headmaster McGonagall, and I would like to welcome our new recruits,’ she said, brandishing a hand at the first years, ‘And welcome back old faces. How is the feast?’
There was an uproar from the students as we yelled our appreciation of food. Seriously, one day I’m going to find myself a house elf and give it a big ol’ kiss.
She smiled slightly before motioning for us to be quiet again, before an excited twinkle passed behind her eye. Hang on; did McGonagall’s eyes just sparkle? Someone must have put something in the pumpkin juice.
‘I am very pleased to announce, that after much reconciliation, the Wizard World is truly once and for all recovered from, ahem, certain incidents which have occurred in the past.’
A solemn silence seemed to sweep across the hall, with many pairs of eyes speedily darting towards the Wotter’s.
‘Falling back into tradition is what Britain needs right now. And just to prove that things have been recovered up until the point where further fixation would cause further damage, I have some very exciting news to tell you.’
An excited squeal seemed to escape from someone’s lips, and I had a sneaking suspicion it belonged to Dom.
‘To prove to the world that the Ministry has recovered from those horrible events, both the Ministry and Hogwarts have decided to once again hold an esteemed competition. Students of Hogwarts, be prepared as we are going to host,’ there was a dramatic pause as McGonagall took a deep breath.
Immediately I started rattling off possibilities in my head. Were we going to host an Arithmacy Tournament? A Wizarding Duel Competition? A, dare I say it, Spell Off?
‘We will be hosting the Triwizard Tournament!’ she announced, immediately greeted by a silence so intense, I felt like crickets should have been chirping in the background.
Was it just me or did she just say Triwizard Tournament?
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