Chapter 1 : Understood
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“Why do you always read those books?” Lily asks as she walks in to the dorm room, dropping her book bag on the floor next to the bed which is only two passes from the door, her bed.
“Because…” I trail off just not wanting to answer that question anymore. She knows what I would say but she doesn’t understand the answer. There is only so many ways that I can explain myself to allow her to understand and today I am just not in the mood.
“How were your holidays?” I just want to move her mind from my book, while I move said book to under my bed to join its own kind that have come to live there. My bed is right next to Lily’s so instead of sitting on her own; she pushes my legs and sits at the foot, whereas I am still lying on my back in the same place I have been in from when she came in.
I have tuned out before she even utters one word, not because I don’t care what she did. It’s more to do with having known Lily for seven Christmas Holidays I can tell you what happens like clockwork, with a few changes.
Lily travels home for Christmas each year and spends it with her family, doing what all families do. During which I stay at Hogwarts and spend the time doing the things I want over the time I have. This is when I like to think about my mother.
My mother is no longer with us and my father like to have this time apart to think about the things we would share with her. Each Christmas has been like this from my second year but that was my choice and it has stayed like this.
The last Christmas I did spend with my mother she gave me a set of books about Australia, her home country. That I now spend my time reading but also adding to them so that once I graduate I can go see it for myself.
With the amount for photos I have seen of all kinds of places that Australia has to offer all I have to do now is close my eyes and I feel that I am there. Breathing the air, smelling wattle, swimming with dolphins, flying above the ocean roads.
“Oh that reminds me…” Lily has moved from my bed to her own, hunting within her bag. “I saw this and I just had to get it for you.” She walks back with a brown wrapped package; I sit up as she returns to her stop on my bed handing it to me. “Open it”
“Lils you already got me something….”
“Em, you have to have this.” Cutting my off and pressing the package into my hands more. “Even Hugo agreed.”
“And that’s meant to make me want this more?” Holding it up trying to feel what is hidden behind the paper.
“Emily” Lily just gives me that look I have been told is her mother’s trade mark, her face just screams “do it or else”, the look that I am not able to disobey.
“Fine” I start to pull the tape off.
“Enjoy. I will come back to drag up from dinner.” As she exits the room.
I can tell that it’s a book now but once the papers off the tildes why I understand why Lily wanted me to have this so much.
“A witch’s guide to the Muggle Magic of Australia”
Another to add.
A nice heat washing over my body almost like rain, with a slight breeze keeping the temperature just right. Not one sound but the lapping of waves just in front of where I am, on the cool yellow sand. Looking out I can see the blues and greens of the ocean mix like their on a palette making new colours. The grains of sand beings mixed by my feet without even know it as I make my way to the water. Each step feeling…
“Do you mind if I sit here?” A voice come interrupting my train of thought. It had been two weeks from when Lily had given me the book which I had found this fairy-tale beach in that I couldn’t get out of my head.
I didn’t need to look up from my book to know who wanted to join me; I would know that voice anywhere. “It a library chair Hugo, I don’t own it.”
He makes a little huff but doesn’t say anything as he drops his bag a pulls out the chair. I go about my reading turning the page as he gets his items out to start work. We don’t talk, we don’t look at each other we just coexist.
This maybe a little odd to most of the students in Hogwarts, Hugo Weasley and Emily White sitting next to each other without Lily. Without yelling and screaming at each other, even hexing or wand pointing till we getting pulled apart. I don’t really have any answers as to why it stopped other than that Hugo found out about my mother.
From the day he found out he acts like I am the egg and he is the spon in a race. Never allowing me to crack nerveless I miss how we were.
It makes me feel like it happened once again. “Hugo”
“Emily” I can feel his eyes on me now that he has said my name.
“Can we go outside and hex one anther like before?”
He huffs and turns back to his work. The main response I have gotten from him in the last year.
I know it wasn’t the best question but I need to do something so I can read in peace. Not that he is making much noise. I came to the library to have some space from my housemates I didn’t ask to have a Gryffindor come and join me.
Turning the page I just look at the words that run across the page, taken in none of them but try to get back to that feeling I just had. It was like I felt at home on the crisp sand. Just have that that salt running in the air.
“So you like the book?” My train has been brought to a stop once more. “Where are you looking to go?”
I don’t answer him just like him I huff in response.
“Em, have you see the rainforest and how many types there is to see?” This question made me look at him. I couldn’t tell from his blue eyes if he really wanted to know or it was some odd joke that he had planned from some day.
“Which one do you want to see the most?”
There had been too many questions from that day to now about Australia, far too many. “Why do you want to know?”
“I just thought I would ask.” He looks down at his book.
“Then don’t unless you know why.” I add a huff just for good measure.
“Why can’t I ask?” I ignore his new question. “I don’t know why you have this odd habit of reading about Australia so much but I would like too.”
“If I answer will you leave it and never ask me a question about this again.”
“As long as you tell me all of it. Don’t leave anything out like you snakes normal do.”
“Fine.” So I go on to tell him right from that first Christmas right down to next Christmas.
“I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone that is so close to you but I know about being told all these different facts about a place. I can understand that felling of just wanting see it for yourself.” Hugo snapped back at me, I could see it in his eyes that he was close to just giving up and yelling at me. But I just had to push him a little more.
“You couldn’t understand an apple tree if you tried.”
“Emily just don’t even start. I know what you’re up too.” His face is starting to turn red, he’ll be off soon.
“And what is that?”
“You’re trying to get me worked up, so that I will leave you alone and you know if you had just asked I would have just done that.”
“You did say that you would once I said my part” Hugo huffs before I get to the end of my sentence. He closes his book and picks up his bag.
“142” He stood up from the chair.
“Wait, what is 142?” I asked but he had already made it half way out of the library before I even know it. I really don’t understand what that boy goes on about half of the time, shaking my head while he exits.
As I look back to my book I turn the page, to one that is filled with a photo of this little green Steam train going over a weather beaten wooden bridge over a road within a forest. The passages of the train have their legs hang out of the train as if they are sat where the windows would be. The one thing that scares me is that the page number is 142.
I couldn’t take it much more I just couldn’t work out what 142 had to do with anything. Did Hugo want to go on the train? How did he know I was on that page, the numbers aren’t that big. Hugo many have said it for no reason but I felt it what more than nothing. He left it as almost a form of goodbye that it just means that he wanted me to know all about 142.
There is so many different ways to look at 142. It could be that number of countries that he wants to go to, the number of books he has on them. It could have been what was on page 142 of the book I had. There is just too many to name that I need to just ask him myself.
Thank goodness it’s almost time for dinner because I know the only place that Hugo would be at that time.
As I walk in to the Great Hall I hear Lily call my name from our table. “Emily you missed lunch.” Scolding me as I sit across from her, with her green eyes scanning me. “Where is your jumper? Haven’t you been cold?”
“No mum, it’s on my bed.”
“Funny.” She fills her mouth with carrots. I start to fill my plate but I can’t stop myself from asking her.
“Do you know why your cousin would say 142 to me?”
“Which one?” I just give her that look and she just smiles that she knows which one I mean. “I wouldn’t have a clue, he has been a little odd of late.”
“He seems like he always has to me.” The dinner passes in much more lighter topics that I don’t really get to involved with, while Lily turns to other housemates to join her with. I just add my ‘yes’, ‘no’s when I think I need too. I am more worried I will miss Hugo.
I don’t what to have the whole school watch me walk over to him and just ask as easy as that would, but I could just see the drama that would start. We may not be at each other’s throats anymore but I am still a girl and he is still a boy. I sat at just the right place to see him walk out the door and now I am just waiting to catch him exit.
“Did you finish that essay?” Lily asks me.
“The one of Defence Against the Dark Arts?” Just at that moment I see Hugo sat up from his table.
“Yes I did, I meet you in the Dungeons.” I get up and walk after him.
I wait until he is at the second floor before I make myself known to him. “Hugo, can we talk.” Joining him on the next set of stairs, he nods at me and says something to his friend that I don’t hear.
He walks down to meet me. “What do you need Emily?”
“What’s 142?” His whole face lights up with a smile that spreads from ear to ear, but he doesn’t answer. “Please I need to know.”
“Will you leave me alone once I tell you?” His voice laced with sarcasm.
“Whatever you want.”
“Whatever, hey?” His smile unmoving as he takes the next step down to join me. “A kiss and then I will tell you.”
“What? No.” I take the next step below.
Joining me once more. “You must not need to know that badly.”
I huff as he joins me on the landing that I ended up on. “Fine”
His eyes give me this odd look as his hands move to each side of my face. Then before I know it Hugo’s lips are on mine, my stomach fills with butterflies driving my mad.
Just like it started it’s over. “Wow” Is the only word I have.
“There are 142 staircases in Hogwarts.” He utters as he pulls me in again for another kiss.
“What?” I say stoping him from getting what he wants. “That’s not that nothing.”
“You don’t get it.” Shaking his head as he moves his hands to mine own, not sure why at all. “Hogwarts was my Australia.”
“What?” Nothing more I can say at this point.
“Your mother talked about Australia, my mum talks about Hogwarts in the same way. I even have books just like you do.”
At that I don’t know why but I pull him in and kiss him like I want to just in to the ocean that I was thinking about when he started all this.
Crisp white, nothing like I dreamed about, heat like I have never felt.
This is what I wanted my Australian Holiday.
Now to just run into that deep blue sea.