The next morning arrived. I apparated at Platform 9¾, bloodshot and weary, not having slept a wink last night. My hair was haphazardly tied into a braid that drooped past my waist, due to lack of enthusiasm. My hair didn’t matter, nothing did anymore. I heard a soft pop and in an instant Giselle appeared by my side. She looked as bad as I did, with her usual bright smile nowhere to be seen. We shuffled past the bustling crowds to the train as if the weight of the world was on our shoulders because, honestly that was how we felt. I glanced at the red stone that glimmered on my finger. After a bit of underage magic, I had turned Grandfather’s necklace into a ring. It suited the stone better, somehow. Giselle had followed suit. That was strange, considering that I was the younger twin. It had always been the other way around.
As we reached an empty train compartment Giselle turned to me and spoke for the first time all morning. “Do you want to share a compartment?” she asked a bit nervously.
I stared at her, taken aback. We hadn’t shared the same compartment since our first year at Hogwarts. Since then she’d always occupied one with all her friends. I sat alone.
“What about your friends?”
She shrugged. “They can find another one. Not like they’re all desperate to sit with me,” she replied and we entered the compartment. Staring absently out of the window, I saw parents giving quick hugs and plenty of last minute advice to their children about to board the train. Grandfather always came to the station to say goodbye, sneaking us chocolate when father wasn’t looking. “It’s good for you,” he would whisper, making us giggle. Now, my tears threatened to spill. He was gone.
“Can I see the badge?” Giselle asked a bit shyly pulling me out of my thoughts. Nodding slightly, I handed her the shiny Head Girl badge I’d acquired from my letter. She examined it closely for a few minutes, running her fingers over the golden ‘H’. Then she gently attached it to my uniform. “It looks good,” was all she said. Slowly, as the train chugged on, the tense feeling between us evaporated. It had been seven years since we had chatted, laughed and had this much fun together. I never realized how much I had missed it.
Before I knew it, it was time for me to attend the prefects meeting. “I’ll be back as soon as I can,” I said apologetically before walking out.
I faced the door of the prefects compartment ten minutes before the meeting was to begin, a requirement of both the Head Boy and Girl. I was a bit nervous to see who the Head Boy would be. I hoped that it wasn’t Brian Corner, a pompous Gryffindor who insisted on doing everything his way. Having been his potions partner for the last two years, I wasn’t willing to put up with him for another minute let alone share a dormitory. I glanced cautiously into the room to find a tall boy with ruffled blonde hair a shade much lighter than mine, bending over a book. “Malfoy?” I asked, judging by his hair. No one else opted for the peroxide blonde look. Except for members of the Albus Potter fan-club. At least Malfoy’s hair colour was natural.
The boy’s head shot up to reveal a stormy pair grey eyes. “Giselle Ravenclaw?” he asked uncertainly, “Or Giana?”
I laughed at his confused expression, one of the perks of having an identical twin. “It’s Giana,” I said, holding out a hand which he shook. This boy couldn’t be worse than Brian, despite his alleged aristocratic behavior.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” Malfoy apologized for the name mix up and the prefects began pouring into the compartment. I gulped down the urge to puke, it was time to start the meeting. “Hi everyone,” I began, sounding more confident than I felt. “I’m Giana Ravenclaw, your Head Girl and this is Scorpius Malfoy, the Head Boy. I’m going to hand out the patrol schedule....”
After an hour, the patrol timetable had been sorted out and the prefects had chosen their respective partners. As they tramped out of the compartment chattering amongst themselves, I breathed a sigh of relief and wiped my sweaty palms. Gross. “How did I do?” I asked Malfoy who was clearing up the strewn papers. “Couldn’t have been better,” he replied with a polite smile. As we walked out of the compartment, I couldn’t help but think that maybe I wasn’t so bad at being a leader after all. Interesting.
Albus Potter sat in a compartment raking a hand frustratedly through his messy black hair. He was desperately trying to tune out his cousin Rose, who was grilling him about the importance of their NEWTs. Being the daughter of Hermione Weasley and inheriting a majority of her genes, Rose had bought reference material, question books, anything that could guarantee her an O this year. What pleased Rose, more than studying, was telling people whatever it was she had studied. At least, anyone who was willing to listen. Unfortunately, Albus always seemed to fall under that category, being her favourite cousin.
Now she was giving him an elaborate and excruciatingly boring explanation of the various uses of Dittany. Albus found himself thanking his lucky stars that Advanced Potions was the only class they both shared. Just as he was about to fall asleep, he found a more suitable escape route: Scorpius Malfoy walking past. He quickly pulled his best friend into the compartment. For some reason, Rose always became very quiet when Scorpius was around. Scorpius gave Al an exasperated glance, clearly used to his Al’s antics and made himself comfortable on the seat. He looked across to find Rose staring at him with a weird expression. “Um.. hi Rose,” he said, a bit awkwardly. She gave a rather uncharacteristic squeak and buried herself in a potions textbook. “So whose the new Head Girl?” asked Al curiously “Is she pretty?”
Scorpius rolled his eyes at his friend’s childishness. “Honestly Al, does it matter if the Head Girl is pretty or not?” he questioned.
“Guess not,” replied Al sheepishly. “Who is it though?”
“Giselle’s twin,” explained Scorpius, “You know, the one with the really long blonde hair?”
“Oh...her,” Albus replied finally placing a face to the name, “You mean the one who always beats Rose in class?”
Rose glared at him. “She does not,” she huffed before stalking out of the compartment accompanied by her bruised ego. Scorpius smirked, it was always so easy to wind Rose up. He turned back to Albus to find him staring at Scorpius’ hand.
“Hey,” Albus said, pointing at the ring on Scorpius’ finger. “I’ve got one just like that!” he exclaimed shoving his own ring under Scorpius’ nose. “Mine’s cooler,” sniffed Scorpius.
Laughing, both boys enjoyed the ride to Hogwarts as it was to be, after all, their last one.
Giselle sat at the Hufflepuff table, wishing more than ever that the Sorting would end. Her stomach growled at the thought of all the food she could eat in the next few minutes. She smiled gleefully as the last first year, an unbelievingly tiny girl, walked towards the Slytherin table. At last, she could eat. Glancing over at her twin at the Ravenclaw table, Giselle couldn’t help but smile. Giana was staring at her plate mentally urging it to fill with food. Sometimes, twins could have identical thoughts too. After what seemed like centuries, the food appeared and Giselle began to tuck in with gusto. No matter how much she ate, her slender figure remained unchanged as a result of the enviable genes the Ravenclaw family possessed. Which didn’t do much to encourage table manners, but belonging to one of the most powerful families of the wizarding world certainly did.
Meanwhile, Professor Flitwick was about to transport the Sorting Hat back to the Headmistress’ office, when it suddenly began to sing in an odd booming voice. Everyone froze. The Hat never sung after the Sorting. What was going on?
The hat sang:
‘Two wizards two witches will have to fight,
An evil creature that roams at night,
One shall burn
One shall blow
One shall heal
One shall grow
And thus the sacred Phoenix flight
Will save the flower of its plight.’
Wow. The Hat’s songs never made sense, but this took absurdness to a whole new level. All the students muttered amongst themselves trying to decode the lyrics while the teachers held an uneasy silence. Headmistress McGonagall’s face was paper white as she abruptly left the room. Giselle caught Giana’s eye through the confusion and her expression darkened. Somehow they both new that everything was about to change. Soon.
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