Ella awoke with a smile on her face. It was September the 1st – the day Ella was leaving for Hogwarts. She took a deep breath and got out of her bed, surveying her messy room.
“I’ll miss this place.” Ella mused, before heading down to breakfast. Her parents were there, eating toast and pancakes.
“Morning, Ella,” Hermione said cheerily. “Ready for Hogwarts?”
Three hours later, Ella, Hermione and Ron were headed for Platform 9 ¾. Ella had her luggage and broom in a trolley, which attracted lots of attention from Muggles. They approached Platform 9 and 10.
Ella smiled as she studied the barrier that boasted the numbers 9 and 10. She remembered stories her parents had told her about their first time getting to the Hogwarts Express.
“Okay, Ella.” Hermione said in her usual no nonsense way. “Walk straight at the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. Don’t be nervous, it’s not solid.”
Ella nodded, her jaw set. She pushed the trolley towards the barrier. As Ella got closer, it loomed in front, looking very solid. She closed her eyes, preparing for the crash.
But it didn’t come – instead, Ella found she was standing by a gleaming red train bearing the words Hogwarts Express. She’d made it. Surrounding her were crowds of people, laughing and talking, carrying owls, suitcase and brooms.
Ron appeared a second later, and then Hermione. Hermione was beaming. “You did it!” She said, smiling.
“Nothing to it,” Ella said smugly, admiring the Hogwarts Express. “So do I have to catch this train?”
Ron nodded. “In about…” he checked his watch. “Five minutes.”
“Oh, Ella, I’m going to miss you so much,” Hermione wiped a tear from her face. Then she brightened up. “Don’t forget to keep in touch with us!”
Ella smiled. “I will, I’ll send you guys letters daily.”
Ron hugged his daughter. “Stay out of trouble, don’t forget what we said.” He murmured very quietly.
Steam began billowing out of the Hogwarts Express and the families began moving towards the train. Ella saw a young girl with piercing green eyes and dark hair carrying a beautiful owl. She sighed wistfully as the owl hooted merrily.
What I wouldn’t give for an owl, she thought.
Hermione and Ron hugged Ella one more time. “Have fun at Hogwarts.” Hermione said, releasing her. “Quick, there might not be anymore seats…”
Ella pushed her trolley up the steps and into the train. She walked down the aisle, looking for an empty compartment. There was one right at the end of the train. Ella opened the glass door and put her luggage on the seat.
She opened the window and looked out. Hermione was talking to Rose, and Ron was in a punch up with Draco Malfoy, his enemy. Parents, Ella thought rolling her eyes.
The trains began moving and Ella waved to her mother who was looking very teary. It gathered speed and left the station. Ella sighed, sinking into the seat; she was all alone now.
Just then, a girl pushed open the compartment door. She was very pretty, with long white-blonde hair and icy grey eyes.
“Can I sit there?” She asked, pointing at the seat opposite Ella. “Everywhere else is full.” Ella nodded, so the girl dumped her luggage on the seat and sat down. She looked like a first year.
“I’m Ella Weasley,” Ella said, studying her. The girl looked familiar…
“I’m Cindy Malfoy,” She replied carelessly. Then Cindy’s jaw dropped as she saw Ella’s horrified expression. “I’m not like my family, Ella! Why won’t anyone listen to me!? According to you, evil lies in the blood. But you’re wrong, Ella! I’m not evil, my family hates me…” Her voice trailed off and she stared out the window, into the distance. “I’m sorry I yelled. It’s just that no one will be my friend because I had the misfortune to be born in a pure blood family who are completely evil.”
Ella suddenly felt uncomfortable. “Sorry I judged you like that, Cindy. It’s just that my dad’s enemy was a Malfoy and he was evil, so I just thought…”
Cindy smiled. “It’s okay. And by the way, was your dad Ron Weasley?”
“Yeah – has Draco talked about him?”
“Only about one million times about how I’m not allowed to be friends with a Weasley, how he hates Harry and Ron, how I’ll be thrown to the werewolves if I’m not in Slytherin…” She laughed bitterly. “I guess I’m dead then.”
Just then, Rose walked into the compartment. “Hey Ella and Cindy. Having fun?”
Ella was confused. “Do you know Cindy, Rose?”
Rose smiled. “Professor Artemis, Ella. I’m your Care Of Magical Creatures Teacher, remember that. And yes, Cindy and I met when her family deserted her just before the train arrived.”
Cindy nodded. “Yeah, they were too busy with Dormeins.”
“My twin brother. Now he’s evil.”
Rose smiled her beautiful smile. “Ella, I need to talk to you about Miss Lestrange.” Her face turned serious. “And yes, Cindy can listen too.” she added when Ella opened her mouth to object.
“Okay, Cindy I’ll just fill you in.” Rose said. “Last month at an Order of the Phoenix meeting, we told Ella that Bellatrix Lestrange wanted to kill her. According to our research, Bellatrix is after Ella because Ella is closest to Harry. Kind of like how Voldemort used Sirius to lure Harry to him. Anyway, Bellatrix wants Ella as Harry is too powerful and Ginny is too well protected, as we already told Ella.”
She sat down next to Cindy. “We warned Ella not to tell anyone, with the exception of you, Cindy, because if it got out who knows what would happen! So if you two ever want to talk about this, I beg you to talk somewhere that is private, where no one can hear you. I suggest you try the Room of Requirement.” Rose went into great detail, explaining about the mysterious room, its purpose and how to get there.
“Sorry, I’m getting off the subject. Anyway…I need you too to watch out, keep on your toes and be aware of what’s happening around you. You can talk to me, I’ll always be here if you two need help. And don’t go looking for danger!” With that, Rose stood up and headed for the compartment door.
“Wait.” It was Cindy.
“Yes?” Rose asked pleasantly.
“I’d love to know about Cho Chang – you would have been in her year, Rose.” Cindy flipped her blonde hair over her shoulders. “And she’s my mother.”
Ella’s jaw dropped. No way! She’d heard about Cho, how Harry had gone out with her and that she was popular. But that was about it.
Rose raised her eyebrows. “Why, yes.” She frowned. “Cho was my best friend – we were both in Ravenclaw and spent every second together.” She sighed. “But then Cho and Harry started going out. I was happy for her. But when Harry broke up with her, Cho was devastated. I hate to say this, but Cho does not liked being dumped, so she planned revenge on Harry.”
“Cho started flirting with Draco Malfoy, Cindy’s father and Ron’s enemy. She got to the point where Cho went to far and couldn’t get out. Malfoy forced her to marry him. I haven’t heard from Cho since. I think she’s been forced to work for Bellatrix or maybe is just a lonely housewife…I don’t know.”
“What a story.” Ella stated.
Cindy blinked. “I never knew that.”
“How is Cho?” Rose pressed.
“Um…she’s always bossed around by Dad. I think she’s scared of him and is always really quiet, she never argues. But mum’s really nice to me, the only Malfoy that is.” Cindy replied quietly.
Trying to ignore the sad, uncomfortable silence that hung around the compartment, Ella tried to change the subject. “Rose, why do you take the train? No other teachers do.”
Rose smiled knowingly. “I prefer to get to know my students. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go.” And she left.
At that very second, the door slid open again, and in walked three guys. The one in the centre had white blond hair and looked very familiar and the guys on either side
were podgy and big.
“Hey sis,” The guy in the centre said. “You’re a Weasley, aren’t you?” He demanded, looking at Ella.
Cindy ignored him. “Ella, this is my brother, Dormeins Malfoy, and his pet pigs, Willis and Smith. Don’t bother listening to them, as you won’t understand what they’re saying. These pigs speak Loser.”
Dormeins glared at his sister. “Very funny, Cindy. I would call you Malfoy, but that would be calling a disgrace to my family.” He looked at Ella. “As for you, Weasley, its only time before Bellatrix Lestrange kills you off.”
Ella stood up, her blood boiling and her fists clenched. “Get out of this compartment,” She hissed.
“How about no?” Malfoy said coldly, reaching for Ella’s broomstick. “This’ll do…”
THWACK! Ella’s foot connected with Malfoy’s head. His eyes rolled back into his head and he swayed, before hitting the floor, unconscious. Willis and Smith’s eyes widened, and they ran from the compartment.
Kicking Malfoy outside into the aisle, Ella grinned as he sat up, dazed. “What the -?” He muttered.
Back in the compartment, Cindy looked at Ella in amazement. “How did you learn to fight like that?”
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