Chapter 4 : The One Where Blair Leaves For Hogwarts
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“It’s not.” She protests. “We have been over every detail in our lives. I think we’re ready.”
“Just remember that you have to send me my broom from New York.” I warn her.
“Don’t worry.” She calms me. “Just don’t forget to write to me every week.”
“Of course.” I say as Ashley packs my suitcase. We have been over this a hundred times. “And not like this, Ash!” I warn her when she starts folding my socks neatly. I flick my wand and they just land in the suitcase.
“How can you be so messy?” she asks looking at the suitcase disgusted.
“You’ll get used to it.” I say when the door opens and Beth walks in.
“Miss Blair?” she looks at Ashley who’s wearing my ripped jeans and red top and her hair looks more like mine now. “Your portkey is leaving in a few minutes.”
“Yeah, I’ll be down in a sec.” Blair says perfectly imitating my American accent. Beth nods her head and leaves the room and I smile proudly at Ash.
“I’m so proud of you.” I say and she smiles. With one flick of her wand, she closes the suitcase.
“This is it.” She says. “We’re doing this.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve chickened out.” I say and get up from the bed.
“No, of course not, but it seems so unreal.” She says and flicks the wand sending her suitcase downstairs. She turns to me then. “Be good B. And please don’t ruin my reputation at Hogwarts. I am the Head Girl so try to act like it.”
“And you get to have a break from all of this.” I say and smile to her. “Get crazy and write to me often. Especially when you find someone who’s going to work with you.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to miss you B.” Ashley says and hugs me.
“I’m going to miss you as well.” I say and hug her back. “You should really go. Blair can’t wait to get away from here.”
“Sure thing.” She says and I laugh at her perfect imitation. She opens the door and walks out of the guest room. I follow her downstairs feeling scared, but also a bit excited. When I came here two weeks ago, I have never thought this is how my trip to England will end. Technically, it’s still not over. I still have to spend one more week here before I leave for Hogwarts pretending to be Ashley. We walk down the stairs and I try my best not to fall down in the high heels Ashley’s usually wearing. I have got to hand it to her. It’s not an easy job to spend an entire day in those things. Maybe I should have paid more attention at grandmother’s lessons about how to be a lady.
When we come downstairs, I notice everyone’s already here. I never knew all of them cared so much about me. Or maybe they just can’t wait for me to leave. If they only knew it was their favourite Ashley who was leaving and not me.
Ashley stands next to my suitcase looking at the hairbrush that we use as a portkey. It’s leaving in a few minutes so that means we still have some time.
“So, I guess that’s it.” Ashley says in an American accent. “I’ll see all of you next year.”
“Take care of yourself, pumpkin.” Grandfather says and hugs her.
“Thanks grandfather.” She says with a small smile. I know she’s supposed to hate them, but she’ll miss them when she’s gone.
“Make sure you write to us.” Grandmother warns her.
“You know I won’t.” Ashley says and I can’t help but laugh. She’s even a better Blair than I am.
“I’ll see you for Christmas, Ash.” She says to me.
“Don’t call me Ash.” I say and she grins at me. Then she turns to our mother. Mom smiles nervously at her. I can’t really say I made it easy for her in the past two weeks.
“I’ll miss you sweetie.” She says and hugs Ashley. Ashley hugs her quickly so she wouldn’t be suspicious, but I notice how hard it is for her to say goodbye to her mother for a year.
“See you all in a year.” Ashley says and grabs the portkey. The portkey lights up and Ashley smiles one last time to me before she goes to New York pretending to be me.
It takes just a second for me to land in Blair’s apartment in New York holding her suitcase and wearing her clothes. I don’t even get the chance to look around before someone pulls me in a tight hug.
“Hey Dad!” I greet him and hug him back. It feels good finally hugging my Dad. I don’t really admit how much I miss him when he’s not around. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too, Blair.” He says and lets me go. “How was London? How’s your Mom?”
“Same old, same old.” I say. “London was awful, as expected.”
“Of course it was.” Dad says laughing. “How’s your sister?”
“Good. She’s good now.” I say nodding my head.
“That’s great.” Dad says with a smile on his face. “How about we go grab a pizza at that muggle restaurant you like?”
“I’d love to.” I say and leave my suitcase in the middle of the living room following my Dad outside in the unknown city. But it feels good. Because now I’m finally free. I am free to do whatever I want.
I have played my role as Ashley for an entire week without any problems. I don’t think I have made anything that would cause suspicion. I did call my mother Wanda by mistake and I did fall when we were at some fancy dinner at our next door neighbours, but other than that, I didn’t cause any other suspicion.
A week after Ashley left for New York, it is time for me to leave to Hogwarts. That was something I was most afraid of. Being in Hogwarts means there is no place for mistakes. I have to make sure no one recognises I’m not Ashley, but I also have to make sure Blair gets her place in Gryffindor Quidditch team. I somehow believe Ashley will have it a lot easier than I will.
When 1st September finally arrives, I nervously go to the Platform 9 ¾ together with my mother and Beth.
“Take care of yourself, sweetie.” Mom says to me and I smile when she hugs me. “I am so proud of you for becoming a Head Prefect.”
“Thank you.” I say and smile to her. Wanda is not the same person when it comes to me and Ashley. When I was Blair, she was distant and maybe it’s partly my fault. I have made her feel like she isn’t important in my life. But when I’m Ashley, she’s proud of being my mother. Makes me wonder, if she stayed with Dad, would she be proud of me as well?
“I love you, sweetie.” She says and smiles. Then she notices someone behind me. “Oh, Olivia Clarence is here. I should say hello.” I smile and watch her leave and then I turn to Beth.
“I’ll miss you, Beth.” I say and hug her.
“And I’ll miss you too, Miss Blair.” She says and smiles to me. I look at her shocked.
“How did I know?” she asks and laughs. “I have raised Miss Ashley. I know her better than her own mother. I think I would recognise if she would suddenly switch places with her twin sister.”
“I’m sorry, I...”
“Don’t be, Miss Blair.” She says. “I love Mr and Madame Pierce. They are my family. But that house is not a place where a young lady should be growing up. Miss Blair has dreams and she deserves to have them fulfilled. I won’t tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me.”
“Thank you, Beth.” I say and hug her once again.
“I hope you find what you’re searching for at Hogwarts.” She says. “And please, take care of yourself.”
“I will. Thank you again.” I say and she smiles back, but when my Mom returns, she steps back.
“The train will be leaving soon.” She says. “You should hurry.”
“Yes, I need to find Meredith and Victoria.” I say and hug her once again. “Take care, Mom.”
“I will, sweetie.” She says and kisses me on the cheek.
“Goodbye.” I say and pick up my trunk, heading for the train. I wave to Beth and Wanda once again before getting on the train.
I enter the train looking around me. This was all so new to me. My school, New York Institute for Magic, is just a few blokes away from my apartment. I don’t travel their by train. Usually Nick picks me up with his car. Although a wizard, he prefers muggles and their technology.
And after classes are finished at 3 o’clock, I go back home. I have never stayed away from my Dad for this long. This sure will be a challenge.
“Ashley!” I hear someone calling me and turn around to look at the two girls. One of them tall, blonde, but with way too much make up and the other one shorter with brown, curly hair.
“Meredith! Victoria!” I say when I recognise Ashley’s best friends. I walk towards them and kiss each of them on the cheek just like Ashley told me.
“It is nice to see you, Ashley.” Victoria says and I smile.
“Nice to see you too.” I say. “Should we find a compartment?”
“But we already have one.” Meredith says and points to a compartment next to us. I notice two girls. One of them is red haired with beautiful green eyes and the other one is blonde.
“But this one is already taken.” I say and Victoria and Meredith laugh. They step in the compartment ignoring me.
“This compartment is already taken.” Meredith says and I raise my eyebrows.
The red haired girl turns to her. “But Alice and I were here first.” She says pointing to the blonde girl.
“Yes, and it is so nice of you that you saved it for us.” Victoria says. “Now, you are free to leave.”
“But...” the red haired girl starts again.
“Goodbye.” Victoria says and two girls exchange looks before they take their trunks and leave angrily. Before she leaves, the red haired girl points me a look full of disgust. I recognise the look because I usually give that look to stuck-up, shallow girls at my old school.
“Ashley? Are you coming?” Meredith asks me giving me a weird look. I look at the two girls that just walked out of the compartment and turn back to Meredith.
“Yes.” I say and sit next to her. “Those two girls...”
“Third year olds.” Victoria says and laughs together with Meredith.
“Don’t worry, Ashley.” Meredith says. “We are seventh year olds. We have privileges.”
I look at the two of them. Ashley forgot to mention the two of them were the bitches around here. I sure hope she’s having more fun in New York.
After the ride that took all day, we arrive at Hogwarts completely exhausted. But once in Hogwarts, I realise it is all worth it. Once I get out of the carriage, I open my mouth in shock at the sight in front of me. It’s not something you see every day. A beautiful, giant castle with the lake and forest very much alike those in muggle fairy tails.
“Ashley, will you please move?” Meredith asks me and I notice I’m blocking the way.
“I’m sorry.” I say and follow her and Victoria towards the entrance. Once we’re in the Great Hall, Victoria and Meredith sit at the Ravenclaw table and I walk towards the fourth table, the one that’s far away from the door. Ashley explained that she is in the Gryffindor house. Apparently this is where the brave ones are which means, I’m pretty much at the wrong place.
I look around the table. According to Ashley, I don’t really have friends in the Gryffindor house so I’m sitting at the table alone. I can’t really complain. If Ashley had more friends, I would have to fool all of them which could be a problem.
After the Headmistress, Professor McGonagall, had her speech, the most delicious sets of meals shows up. I start eating remembering that I should act like a lady so I wouldn’t attract attention. Just when I’m about to stuff my face with apple pie, a tall dark haired boy that I recognise from one of the Ministry dinners, shows up in front of me.
“You and your stuck-up friends should stop messing with my sister!” he yells at me. I raise my eyebrows at him mouth filled with pie.
“Excuse me?” I ask with as much decency my full mouth allows me. I have a great apatite, don’t judge.
“Why are you acting stupid now?!” he asks. “My sister. Lily.” He says looking at the red haired girl from the train.
“Lily?” I ask going through all the information Ashley told me about. “Lily Potter?” I ask carefully and the boy gives me a weird look.
“What the hell is wrong with you, Pierce?” he asks. “Yes, my sister, Lily Potter. You kicked her out of the compartment!”
“Listen...” I say and put the fork down looking at him, trying to remember his name.
“James.” He reminds me.
“James, right.” I say. “I’m really sorry about your sister. Send my apologies to her. But next time, don’t come yelling at me. I am able to talk when you use normal frequencies.” He stares at me for a moment.
“Oh,” I add when I take another bite of the pie. “I prefer to be called Ashley.” He still stares at me shocked.
“You can leave now, thank you.” I say perfectly imitating Ashley’s British accent.
“And here I was thinking there was something different about you, but you are still the same selfish Ashley.” James says.
“I’m glad that we sorted everything out.” I say and look at Lily who’s sitting not so far away from me. I smile at her and she looks at me weirdly. “Good night.” I say to James. He gives me one last weird look and walks away. Although he seems like a douchebag, I can’t help but notice that he has really nice body. Too bad he’s not Ashley’s type.
I have successfully made it through the week at your house without anyone noticing. Except for Beth. She sure noticed, but don’t worry, she promised to keep our secret safe.
Hogwarts is amazing. You actually call this school? I bet you’ll be bored with my school.
One thing only. Can you give me some details on James Potter? It looks like he can’t stand you so I would really like to know more.
I know the owl won’t get to New York that soon, but I still wish you a happy first day at my school. And good luck with Nick. I hope you manage to fool him.
P.S. Your friends are bitches.
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