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We, The Famously Forgettable by pointless_proclamations
Chapter 1 : INTR 101: Introduction to Basics
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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Picture shows David. He is bald, with a full beard. His eyebrows are quite thick and straight. His left eyebrow has a little scar running through it. He is smirking and wearing a white t-shirt and a fake leather biker jacket. He looks almost like the stud he wants to look like.





Condescension, social rejection, and internet deprivation. These are the polite terms for what our conglomeration is heading towards. Collectively, it could be labelled a shit show.

They each had their reasons, crazy parents, curiosity, crazy parents, and David’s reason—not that he would tell you.

They had filed into their designated compartment on the train one by one. None of them came together—none of them had known each other previously.

Asha had arrived first, 15 minutes early. One could say it was a result of her nature to be more than punctual, one could say it was a result of her sheer excitement to get to their destination, despite knowing that the train left the station at a specific time, regardless of how early she got there.

Janus, Fang, and Fatima had arrived next. Fang had run into Janus on the platform, knocking him and the contents of his bag onto the ground. Fang, being the decent person she was, apologised and helped Janus pick up the stuff that was supposed to be on his bag, but wasn’t because it was on the floor—books, pens, orange vials, earphones, etc. Janus, being grateful, profusely thanked Fang. Fatima, being a caring person, refused to succumb to the bystander effect and stepped forward to help out—not that she was of much use. David, being David, spotted his favourite coffee shop—unconventional enough to not be mainstream, but not as much to be ‘hipster’—and walked that way, deciding that he didn’t have to be 7 minutes early to a train.

Scott had planned his entrance—3 minutes early so as to arrive early enough to be able to settle down before the train started moving, but close enough to departure time to make his entrance to a sufficient number of people. What could he say? He was particularly proud of his outfit and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that—it gave him a sizeable following on a generic visual media-focused social media platform.

Li and Pepé had spent the better half of 10 minutes outside the wall to the platform. They couldn’t bring themselves to do it. It was dumb—it was really, really dumb. It was dumber than the time that Pepé forgot which glass of orange juice he put the ghost pepper in while trying to prank his friend before his family moved out of South Africa. It was dumber than the time Li thought moustaches were a good idea even though he could only manage one as sparse as a flea’s posterior abdomen. It was exceptionally dumb.

So what did they do? They started running into it. . . because that was any smarter and it made any difference. Li knew this. He knew a lot of things.

David walked into the compartment last and Scott whispered to Asha who sat right beside him, “If he were craft beer, I’d totally tap that.”

Before Asha could reply, not that she was going to, a wizard appeared at the doorway and greeted them with a friendly smile. Our conglomerate collectively stiffened in their seats and all conversation would have stopped if it weren’t for the fact that there had been any going on.

This elderly fellow was obviously a wizard, our conglomerate knew this, for he was dressed absurdly, he carried a wand, and they all knew about that sort of thing.

They knew about that sort of thing because they weren’t ‘muggles,’ as the world they were entering called it, no, our conglomerate consisted of ‘squibs’ and they were on a train to Flamel University, that small, private university almost everyone out of Hogwarts attends to further their education.

“Good Morning, students,” he even sounded like a wizard with his voice: gravelly, yet smooth at the same time. His eyes were twinkling brilliantly. “I trust you’ve all gotten to know each other?”

Nobody answered that question—who immediately starts conversing with strangers, anyway?

“Right. . . well, maybe in a little bit.” The aforementioned twinkle died a little. There was an unsaid, but unanimously heard because where you’re going, you’ll probably only have each other. Well unanimous except for Asha and Scott, but that’s another thing.

“In any case, I am glad you have all accepted our invitation, although this wasn’t quite the turnout we were expecting. . . only eight of you, but no matter.” He smiled again, making eye contact with each member of our conglomerate.

“I am Professor Butler. I am the dean of Flamel University. Welcome. I invited you all earlier to the university so that you could take the time to familiarise yourself with the Wizarding World for those of you who have been displaced from it and to provide you with an extra special orientation before the actual orientation with your future classmates, most of whom have already had a tour of the grounds in their seventh year.”

At this point, the train stopped, apparently arriving at its destination—it wasn’t far out in the middle of nowhere as Hogwarts was. In fact, taking a look around at his surroundings, Scott realised that it was just a walk away from where he lived with his family. Upon this realisation, Scott rolled his eyes. To be fair, this was a school hidden by a lot of tall bushes and Scott hadn’t been actively living at home for a while.

Professor Butler talked his new students through the tour of the grounds—the library, the wing designated for auror training, the wing for healing training, the Quidditch pitch—because Quidditch would still be the only academic sport, and so on.

“This institute was built in the late 1990s. To make it look as though it were built in the 1700s.” The dean’s voice echoed along the hallways lined with new olden tapestries and suits of armour.

When they reached the cafeteria, Professor Butler turned to his students, bade them farewell, and left them free to explore for a few hours.

Halfway through that parting, David checked his phone one more time to see if it could find Wi-Fi. . . to absolutely no result, to indisputably no one’s surprise, to definitely, and predictably, his disappointment.

“So. . . “ Scott cleared his throat loudly to get the group’s attention. “Maybe we should go around introducing ourselves? I’m Scott Tanner,” he started before anyone could disagree. “It’s nice to meet you all.”

A pause as the conglomerate debated whether or not the time of being complete strangers to one another had past.

“And,” Scott continued as if he didn’t find that pause awkward, “I’m 20, I took two gap years to travel, and I am studying international relations.” At this point, most of the group had him down as ‘privileged, white, male from a pureblood family who still loves him unconditionally.’ That was great. Good for him.

Fatima, almost taking pity on Scott, introduced herself. “I am Fatima Hightower, I just finished my A-levels, and I am majoring in Journalism with a minor in ‘Muggle' Studies.”

And that caught the rest of the group’s attention. “Why Muggle Studies, you didn’t go to a ‘muggle’ school, you know, with ‘muggles?’” Pepé asked—even though he, himself, signed up for Intro to Muggle Studies.

“I did, I wanted to see how they study the non-magical community, their perspective. . .” Fatima, pushed her curls behind her ears.

“And what you mean by that is finding out if the wizarding community were going to be condescending arseholes about ‘muggle’ studies.” David pointed out.

“Absolutely.” Fatima nodded almost aggressively.

“If you signed up for that one Intro to Muggle Studies course, we might be in the same class.” Fang smiled at Fatima warmly.

“Hey, same.”

“Did we all just sign up for Intro to Muggle Studies?” Scott kept an eye on David, ensuring that he nodded.

“Pretty much.” Li nodded.

“Yup, yup”

To some, it worked as a fulfillment of curiosity with regards to level of condescension, to others, it was a blow-off course, conveniently meeting their elective requirements and the requisite number of credits needed to keep their scholarships. To clarify, all of them received a scholarship. The requirements? Being a Squib. The standards, in fact, had been so low, that David, who had first filled out the form as a joke was accepted. The following were some of his answers the the questions on the form:

Q: Why do you think you deserve to go to Flamel University with this scholarship?
A: Because I’m a squib and that’s literally all you need right?


Q: What are your goals in life?
A: Your money, thankyouverymuch.


That last one didn’t even make much sense.

David had considered throwing away his acceptance letter and not looking back until he read that 95% of all graduates of Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with a fair bit of international students, attended this Flamel University. The remaining 5% included those who couldn't afford it despite the countless amount of scholarships given by Hermione Granger and those named after the many casualties of the Battle of Hogwarts, those who went to Romania to study dragons or some shit like that, and those who simply didn't want to. Why did that catch his attention and motivate him to actually attend? He probably wouldn’t tell you.

“Cool,” Pepé nodded. “I’m Pepé Obi and I’m studying sport psychology, although I don’t really know what I’m doing—I. . . I was kind of hoping to get into sports or something.”

Knowing full well he was set up against an even greater load of wizard biases than normal with that one, Li gave him two thumbs up. Li pointed to himself, bringing attention to the letters on his jumper, spelling out ‘ICONOCLASTIC.’

Li settled for this introduction: “I’m Li Cheng. I signed up for science and math courses, but they’ll probably be a joke—that’s unfortunate. I actually wanted to go to a recognised school and get a degree that could get me a job, but I guess I’m stuck here.” Li’s voice was noticeably nasal.

Prior to this introduction, the group had pegged him down as ‘relatively social-forward with a stylish pouf above his side cut,’ but that had since morphed into more of a ‘I know my hair implies that I’m into following trends and chilling with the peeps, but my mum did this for me and I don’t actually like to partake in many things that require talking to other people—I’m very uncomfortable right now and you may have noted that I have a tendency to keep my eyes very, very wide and avoid eye contact. I’m also feeling unstable due to the extended separation from technology I’m currently suffering from.’

“It might not be all bad,” Asha interjected. “I think the Wizarding World is opening up a bit.” But only Asha believed Asha.

“My name is Asha Medford and I am taking arts.” She smiled before adding, “I really do think it’s a good thing that the Wizarding World is opening up to. . . our kind a bit more by letting us study together.”

She seemed sweet.

Getting into the pattern and having unconsciously formed a circle, the group turned to Janus expectantly.

“Who knows?” Janus shrugged. “I’m Janus Burns, I’m in general studies here and electrical engineering in another university.” Janus, on the surface didn’t reveal much, nevertheless, Fang knew better. Although, for the purpose of avoiding confirmation bias, she willed herself to hold judgement until further information was known.

Fang decided not to keep her introduction very long, or very open for that matter. “Alright. You can call me Fang. I am here studying adult education.”

“Ooh, are you two related?” Scott asked interrupting her, looking between her and Li.

No answer.

David raised his coffee cup to the group slightly. “David. . . statistics,” and with that, he took a sip from aforementioned coffee cup. “Pleasure to embark on what is inevitably going to be a shit show with all of you.”

“No offence, mate, but you look too old for first year university,” Scott remarked.

“Fair,” David shrugged. “True, too.” It’s not that David was opposed to socialising with his peers, he just didn’t really like it. On most occasions, he found it tiring.

“So, how old are you?” Fatima scrunched her eyebrows together. She had no time for something as trivial as manners as dictated by society.

“Probably ancient,” Li appeared to evaluate him with a straight face, “I mean, you’ve got no hair on your head and there’s that beard. . .”

David tilted his head, “Is my bald head going to be the butt-end of every joke from now?”

“Probably,” Janus answered thoughtfully.

“It is smooth and round and. . . “ Fang was silenced with a glare, though she kept her smirk on.

“For fuck’s sake, I’m 24. . . and I doubt I’m the oldest.”

And this resulted in defensive statements of age around the group: Fatima and Pepé the most vocal two, proclaimed they were both 18, fresh out of secondary school, not that anyone needed to be reassured.

“Look, I know I look 12. . . “ Li had started, as a matter of factly.

“I'm a vegetarian,” revealed Janus seemingly randomly, “but I eat fish.”

In his defence, the majority conversation had quieted right after Fatima discussed her veganism with him.

“Bro, that makes you a pescetarian.” Pepé pointed out.

“I'm pretty sure it's peace-tartan.” Li pointed out.

Asha revealed she was 21 and had been ‘working in a book shop in Diagon Alley after her A-levels and that was because she didn’t know what she wanted to do because muggle institutes didn’t seem like an option to her.’

Nobody wanted to point out to her that she could study arts just the same in a non-magical institute—it was arts.

Janus was 19—that was it. The group decided that he didn’t like to talk about himself much and moved on, except for Fang who, all this while, kept looking at him as if she knew what was up, as if something was up. See, Fang already had a doctorate degree in health psychology and she’d like to think she knew what was up—she was right. . . well, on most cases.

So it was Fang who was the oldest, although in her defence, as the group had established, it was only by several months.

“What is someone with a doctorate degree doing here?” David asked her privately when Scott decided that, hungry as they were, they should walk to his place and raid the fridge there.

“What is someone who looks like he got that leather jacket with a decently-figured salary doing here?” Fang countered.

“Probably not the same thing. . . Doctor.”

A glare-off commenced.

“What? I can’t go back to school? Maybe I want to become a psychology professor in the wizarding world.”

“Maybe. . . but I’m pretty sure you hate this world.”

“I could say the same thing as you, in fact, I will say the same thing about you, David. I am pretty sure you hate this world. What are you doing here?”

It was the beginning of a very beautiful friendship full of trust.

 

 

 

“How do you know I have a doctorate degree?” Fang turned around mid-storming away.

“Oh, I totally forgot” exclaimed David, smiling sheepishly, “You dropped your lanyard at the station when you bumped into Burns.”

“Right. . . “ Fang took her lanyard from David’s outstretched hand. “Thanks.”


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