Sid Greyson was not your average 17-year-old girl, or at least, that's what I tell myself in order to feel unique. My parents always said I had a passion for magic as fiery as my hair, and this was why I was at the top of my class at the American witchcraft boarding school I attended. That is, until the psychotic headmistress burned it to flames when her fiance left her at the altar. I was an only child, so my parents shipped me off to some school in England. Hogwarts. I'd heard all the stories
"Sid, honey, just take your cat with you," my mother pleaded, ushering me towards platform 9 3/4. It was just a brick column between platforms 9 and 10, but the entrance to the train station at my old school had been similar to this, so I wasn't worried.
"Mom, for the last time, I. Do. Not. Like. Cats!" I argued. "Please, may I trade this fur ball in for an owl?"
"No, there will be plenty of them in the owlry, now go on or you'll be late," she said with a note of finality. I knew I'd lost this battle.
She gave me a bone-crushing hug, and then stepped back so my father and I could say our goodbyes. I'd always been closer to my dad for some reason. It was probably just my tomboy personality, and the fact that my mother was the world's ultimate girly-girl.
My dad pulled me into a hug and whispered in my ear. "If you point your wand at the 'cat' and say Formata feathrio, I think you'll find you like it a lot more."
I grinned at him, figuring out what he did. "Thanks!" I whispered. Then, at my regular volume, "Love you, Dad. See you at Christmas, Mom!"
"We love you, too, honey. Good luck, Sid!" they called after me as I climbed aboard the Hogwarts Express.
As soon as I found an empty compartment, I pointed my wand at the ugly, fat feline, and muttered "Formata feathrio."
Immediately afterward, the kennel transformed into a cage, and the nasty orange cat turned into a magnificent, midnight black owl. I remembered reading about this breed. I think it was called a Night Owl. She was perfect. I would have to remember to write my dad soon, and thank him.
"I shall call you Ebony," I named her with a laugh.
"That was an impressive bit of magic," a voice commented. I turned on my heel from where I'd been trying to shove my trunk in the overhead space. Startled, I removed my hands and the suitcase began to fall back towards me. I looked up just in time to yelp and put my hands above my head in protection.
The impact never came. I opened my eyes to see what had happened.
The voice belonged to an impressive-looking young man. He had messy blond hair, and clear gray eyes. He was about 6'1", so obviously he stood over my own substantial 5'8".
With a small, seemingly effortless shove, my trunk was safely tucked away. "You must be a new student here," he laughed, extending his right hand to me.
I shook his hand and nodded my head. "Thanks for, uh catching that. And yes, I'm Sid Grayce, from America," I explained.
"Seventh year?" he asked, retracting his arm, and leaning against the doorway to the compartment. I took a step back casually, if not only to get a better look at all of this . . . godly creature. They sure knew how to make 'em here in England.
"Yeah," I said.
"That's cool. Are you nervous about starting your final year in a new school, though?" he asked, crossing his arms.
I laughed a squeaky laugh, and then cleared my throat, embarrassed. I saw the mystery man's eyes sparkle in amusement. "You have no idea." Then, I mentally kicked myself. Way to sound cool, Sid. "I mean, not really, I guess. After all, what is there to be nervous about?"
"Right," he grinned. "Well I'll be teaching your Defense Against the Dark Arts class. I'm Mr. Malfoy."
I swallowed the knot in my throat. This guy was a teacher? Of course . . . Probably the most handsome guy I've ever seen in my entire life, and he's completely off-limits. [sarcasm]Damn, I just get all the luck.[/sarcasm]
"Wouldn't that make you Professor Malfoy?" I asked timidly.
"Oh, right," he laughed. "Sorry, I'm still in summer mode."
"I definitely understand that feeling," I said. Then, a thought occurred to me. Why was a professor walking the corridors of the student train? Shouldn't he have already been at school.
"Yeah, but don't worry. I think you'll enjoy Hogwarts. I was a student there not so long ago . . ." he said, then his face darkened for a moment, as if a shadow had passed over it. After a second, he shook his head, and was back to normal. I wondered what lie in his past that made him act that way.
"I hope so. It's nice that I've met one person now, but I guess we'll only see each other in class anyways," I said boldly. Honestly, I was proud of myself for the instantaneous spasm of confidence. I got those every once in a while around guys. I think it was because I usually didn't have many girl friends. Like I said, I was more of a tomboy.
He looked at me. "Not necessarily," he said, before smiling some sort of secretive smile. "If I'm lucky, that is."
My head snapped up to his face, and I felt his stormy eyes penetrate my gaze. "Yeah . . ."
"Well," he blinked a couple of times, and I looked away, my face heating up. "You should probably change into your robes. We'll be arriving in Hogsmeade in about an hour. It was nice meeting you, Sid."
Without another word, he spun on his heel and walked away, his robes billowing behind him. I slumped down to my seat, bonking my head against the wall behind me. Professor Malfoy was something else . . . and I was afraid of how much I liked it.
With thoughts of him running through my head, I followed his advice and got my uniform out of my trunk. I noticed there wasn't anything on the breast pocket, and I remember Headmistress McGonnogal had mentioned that I would be sorted into my house at the feast. I had researched Hogwarts on witchipedia for weeks before today. I knew the houses were Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Gryffindor. They all sounded like a lot of fun, and I wasn't sure which one I wanted to get put into. It talked about how the houses used to be before Voldemort was defeated, and I shuddered to think of the intense rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Of course, the houses all still competed against each other, but there was less hatred between everyone. Also, the fact that Slytherin used to be known for their cunning trickery kind of enticed me even though the house had mostly turned over a new leaf. Plus, I heard this is where all the hot guys were. Hmm..
Gryffindor seemed to be pretty much the favorite, though. It was where the brave, pure of heart, leaders got put. They'd won the House cup for the last several years, and were undefeated Quidditch champs. Everyone looked up to them. It sounded kind of like the popular house. That would be nice. I'd never really been popular.
Ravenclaw was for the strong of mind. I was at the top of my class, and I'd always gotten along with the nerds. Then again, I wasn't sure I wanted to be somewhere where the founder's name was Rowena. Call me crazy, but I wasn't a fan of that name. Okay, fine, look who's talking, right? I'd never met another girl named Sid before, but oh well.
Hufflepuff didn't have much renown, but then again, whoever said the spotlight was a good thing? I'd always been pretty good at blending in and standing in the background, so maybe this was the house for me? I remembered reading about how all Hufflepuffs were really loyal, and that didn't sound like a bad quality at all. I guess we'll see where they decide to put me.
I'd been so lost in my thoughts that I didn't even notice when the train pulled to a stop. It wasn't until there was a knock on my compartment door that I realized people were getting off. I went to open it, and saw a very interesting-looking girl there. She had strawberry-blond hair with lime green wire-rimmed glasses, and it looked as if her entire outfit was homemade. Her shoes were bright purple moccasins that really looked like a couple pieces of leather stitched together with pink yarn. Then, there was her floral-print skirt that hung to mid-calf that looked like a table-cloth haphazardly tied around her waist. And her shirt was a tube top that I was pretty sure was just a bunch of copies of the Daily Prophet taped together.
"Hi, I'm Lily," she announced. "You do realize that we're supposed to get off the train, right New Girl?"
I just began lugging my trunk and Ebony's cage down from the overhead without a word. I wasn't sure I wanted to associate with someone dressed like that, and who called me 'New Girl.'
"Chillax, I was just messing around. Come on, we can share a carriage if you tell me your name," he said, linking her arm with mine before prancing off. I had no choice but to be dragged along behind her. Was forwardness the thing in England?
'Sid," I told her once she had shoved me into one of hundreds of horseless carriages. I wasn't sure what she was going to do to me, but I was a little frightened.
"Okay, Sid, just look the other way real fast while I change into my school robes. I fell asleep on the train ride and didn't have time to earlier," she explained. I did as I was told.