Author’s note: It’s based on the Harry Potter series. It’s post-war around this time, hence the Paramore, Maroon 5 and Train reference. Enjoy! -Ashley
‘Sofie’s here, Mischa. Weren’t you going to the zoo?’ My mum says while opening the curtains of the large window of my bedroom. ‘Come on, get up!’
‘Yes, young lady, get up!’ Another voice says. I look in the direction where the voice just came from and Sofie was standing there. Her eyes sparkling with joy.
‘Why don’t you drink some coffee or something and I’ll get dressed, okay?’ I say in response to all of the wake up calls. My mum and Sofie both nod and leave the room to drink something, and knowing my mum, she’ll probably make some food for me, so Sofie and I can leave as soon as possible.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Sofie. I think she’s 13 now. When she was 11 she went to a private school somewhere in Scotland. When I ask if I could write, call or email her, she comes up with weird excuses like; ‘My school is somewhere in the mountains in Scotland, and the people from the post office are too lazy to deliver our mail.’ or ‘We’re not aloud to have computers or laptops. Besides, there isn’t much electricity in my dorm room. So I can’t use a phone.’
As I’m being carried away with my thoughts, a black haired man with a green robe stops at our house and looks directly at my window. When our eyes cross I quickly dive away. After a minute or two I slowly get back up to get a better look at the man but he wasn’t there anymore. Just at that moment the front door bell rings.
‘Hello?’ I hear my mother say. ‘Oh, I’ll get her, why don’t you come in? Mischa! There’s someone here for you.’
I put on my clothes, go through my messy brown hair with my comb and go downstairs. When I come in the living room the man with the green robe is sitting there. He immediatly looks up at me and smiles at me and starts talking: ‘Hello Mischa. I’m Professor Neville Longbottom.’
‘H-how do you know my name?’ I answer carefully.
‘Well, we know the name of every wizard and witch in the United Kingdom.’
‘The name of every what?’ I ask, did he really say wizard and witch?
‘Yes, I really did say wizard and witch. You’re a witch, Mischa.’
My mum steps in front of the man and says: ‘I’m sorry, what did you call my daughter?’ She shoots him a vicious glare.
‘Did I say something wrong? Was I going to fast again? Oh, why is it always me?’ He looks down in a hurry and pauses for a moment. My mum and I look at each other, totally flabbergasted. Then he looks up and continues his story.
‘We thaught that you knew about magic since your husband was a wizard, Mrs. Grandsell. But I guess Rory didn’t want to tell you until he was certain that Mischa was magical. Sadly, before he could tell you, he-’
When Sofie walks in the room, he stops talking and his face changes. I can clearly see that he’s confused.‘-died.’ I look over to Sofie and she’s clearly confused too.
After that weird moment everyone went silent. I think my mum lost her patience and decided to start talking. ‘Sofie, do you know this man?’
‘W-well.’ She says nervously.
‘He’s a teacher at my school in Scotland, and if I may ask; what are you doing here, professor?’
‘Professor McGonagall said that I had to inform this family that little Misha here is magical, like I said earlier a wizard, just like her dad.’ The professor answers.
‘Magical?’ My mum and I both say.
‘Let me show you.’ He pulls out a stick, wich appears to be a wand and points it to our fireplace. ‘Incendio’ He gently says while flicking his wand. A small beam of fire comes out of the tip of the wand and the wood in the fireplace lights up.
My mum and I look at each other. Both flabbergasted. ‘Sofie’ Professor Longbottom suddenly says ‘Can you show me what you learned last year?’
‘Of course I can.’ She takes her wand out. And points it at the first book she sees.
‘Wingardium Leviosa.’ The books levitates in the air.
‘You’ve got to be kidding me,is this some kind of trick?’ I say.
‘No, it’s real. Check it.’ While the professor says that I go up to the book and put my hand under and on top of is to see if there’s any strings attached.
‘How’s that possible?’
‘Magic.’ Sofie says while smiling at me.
‘So, you’re a witch?’
‘A darn good one.’ Professor Longbottom says before Sofie can answer. ‘Normally students aren’t aloud to do magic outside of school, but because I’m here, she can.’
‘I never told you because I wasn’t aloud to. I thought you weren’t magical. You should go to Hogwarts with me. It’s a really good school.’
‘And what it’s name again?’ My mum asks carefully.
With a smile on his face he says; ‘Oh! I knew I forgot something.’ He gives a letter to my mum. When he sees that my mum is reading the name he says with a proud tone in his voice: ‘Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.’
‘Mischa, you should go! It’s a really good school to learn more about magic and how to use it.
‘Sofie’s right ma’am. I went there when I was younger and they really help your child to develop their magic abilities.’
I see my mum watching professor Longbottom’s every step. But I don’t see any disbelief. I think the professor saw that she was struggling with some things.
‘Our students have to stay at school during the school year but, if they or their parents want to, they can go home every vacation.’
‘I-I don’t know what to say. What do you think, Mischa. Do you want to go? Do you balieve all this?’ She says while turning her head towards me.
‘Yes. We saw it with our own eyes. I want to go.’ I say with a lot of enthusiasm in my voice. ‘I really do. But what if I’m really bad at using magic?’
‘Then I will personally help you.’
‘Will you, professor?’
‘And if that doesn’t work, I’ll help you.’ Says Sofie with a big smile on her face.
And without hesitation I nod and look over to my mum, who’s smiling too.
‘Okay, I’ll tell you what you need to buy for your studies.’ Says the professor. He gives a list to my mum who’s looking weirdly at the paper. Professor Longbottom laughs a little bit and continues with his explanation.
‘You can buy all this stuff in Diagon Alley, the best shopping street for wizards and witches in England.’
‘Diagon Alley?’ My mum and I say.
‘Oh yeah, I forgot, your mum’s a muggle.’
‘Muggle?’ My mum takes a step foward, her face clearly showing that she’s offended.
‘No, I didn’t mean it like that, muggles are non-magical people. I’m sorry if I offended you, Ma’am.’ He quickly says. ‘You know what, I’ll come back tomorrow and I’ll bring you to Diagon Alley, help you buy your things and I could introduce you to some friends of mine who run a shop there, George and Ron Weasley.’
Sofie starts jumping up and down whe she hears the name.
‘The Weasleys? They’re legends! Is there any chance that Harry or Hermione will be there? Merlin’s beard! Why didn’t you say that you know them, professor?’
‘Well, Sofie, I was in the same year with them and same house. And, I’d like to keep my personal life private, you see?’
Sofie nods, still excited. Who were those Weasleys? And who were Harry and Hermione? Maybe I’ll just give up on asking.
‘I think it’d good that you come by tomorrow to show Diagon Alley. And if those Weasleys are such legends, I’d like to meet them.’ My mother says, picking up the conversation where Sofie interrupted it. She nods at me. ‘Can you come at 11 am?’
Professor Longbottom nods and stands up.
‘I’m positive that Sofie will tell you about Hogwarts and its rules and everything so I’ll go and I’ll see you tomorrow. Thank you or the tea, ma’am. And it was nice to meet you.’ He says while smiling at me. He shakes everybody’s hands and disappears.
The following hours Sofie was at my house she told everything I needed to know about Hogwarts and its staff. She’s talking about the Hogwarts Houses.
‘You have four different houses in Hogwarts, you get sorted in the house that fits the best with how you are as a person. For example: Gryffindor values bravery, chivalry and courage, Ravenclaw values intelligence, creativity and wit, Hufflepuff values loyalty, fair play and hard work and Slytherin values ambition, cunning and vanity. I’m in Ravenclaw.’ She says.
I have no Idea in wich house I’ll be sorted in. I never really had friends in elementary school. I was the outcast who was sitting on a bench reading a book or just staring at other groups of ‘best friends’. I focussed on my studies and art there. I don’t think I’m intelligent enough to keep up with the Ravenclaws as I hear Sofie talking about them. I’m kind of freaking out right now. But I’m trying not to think about it.
‘Then you have me and my friends. They’re really fun. You have Kara, my best friend, is really nice and really ambitious. She’s a Slytherin. Then you have Penelope, she’s really funny and loves to make jokes. Then you have Mathias and Gwain. They’re best friends. Mathias is, just like me, in Ravenclaw and Gwain in Gryffindor. They both play Quiddtich.’
‘Quiddtich?’ I ask.
‘Quiddtich is a sport in the magical world. You’ll see. The Hogwarts houses each have their own teams. They occasionally play and at the end of the year they can win the house cup, if they were the best. It’s pretty fun. But first years aren’t aloud to play but there were exceptions.’
‘Oh.’ I got it. I still didn’t know how it looked, but I’ll take her word for it that it’s fun. ‘When do those exceptions take place?’
‘When the person is really good.’
‘Really good? Wow. That’s not going to happen with me.’ We both laugh.
We kept talking about Hogwarts until Sofie had to go home.
‘I’ll see you tomorrow?’
She gives me a big hug. ‘I’m happy that you’re coming to Hogwarts.’ She says.
I smile and she goes home.
‘Goodnight Mischa.’ My mum says when I’m going to bed. She goes to her room but comes back quickly.
‘Are you sure you want to go?’ She asks. ‘I mean, it’s so far from home, all the way up in Scotland.’
‘Yes. I’m sure.’
My mum nods and smiles.
‘I’ll miss you too.’
She comes up to me gives me a hug and goes away. I am going to miss her, I’m really going to miss her. But maybe I found a place what can make me feel that I’m home.
‘I’ve got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine, I got a love I know that is all mine. Oh O oh. Do what you want but you’re never gonna break me. Sticks and stones they’re never gonna shake me. Oh O oh. Take me awa-’ I quickly stop my radio.
‘How old is that song? Like ten years? And they’re still playing it.’ I mumble while getting out of my bed.
Sofie loves that song. It’s a catchy song, but I’d rather listen to Paramore, Train or Maroon 5.
At that moment my mum shouts from the kitchen: ‘Mischa it’s 10 o’clock, Sofie can be here any moment. Get dressed!’
I get dressed and go downstairs.
‘Are you going to wear that?’ My mum says when she sees what I’m wearing.
‘What’s wrong with my jeans?
‘There’s paint on it. Go put on a skirt or something.’
I go back to my room and put on my skirt with flowers on. When I go back downstairs I see that Sofie’s already here.
‘Now happy, mum?’
‘Wow, I didn’t know you had a skirt, Mischa.’ Sofie jokes. ‘I like it.’
‘Hello Mischa. How are you?’ Sofie’s dad says.
‘I’m fine… Are you-’
‘No, my wife is a witch.’ He smiles and looks over to his wife, Lavender Brown, who’s drinking tea and talking about Hogwarts with my mum.
‘She’s been trough a lot there. She fought in the second wizarding war.’ He says. ‘Almost died. Got bitten by a werewolf, that’s how she got the scar.’
He points at her neck.
‘But the evil wizard from back then- What was his name again?’ He turns to his wife and says: ‘Sweetie, what was his name again? That evil wizard, Voldeer?’
‘Voldemort, John. You’re not scaring her, eh?’
‘No, I’m just telling her about your time at Hogwarts.’ She smiles and turns back at my mum.
‘So that Voldemort’s dead. No need to be worried’ He winks and goes to my mum and Lavender.
‘That’s right. I wanted to tell you about the wizarding wars.’ Sofie says. ‘There was a wizard who hated wizards and witches who were Muggleborn, wizards or witches whose parents are both muggles, he wanted them all locked up. But there was a group of wizards and witches that were against him and fought him. They were called “The Order of the Phoenix”. One day a prophecy was made about the outcome of the war. A boy would be born that had the power of defeating Voldemort. He would be born end of July, begin August. There were two boys born then. Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom.’
‘Don’t shush me!’
She shoots me a glare and continues: ‘Yes professor Longbottom. But Voldemort thought that Harry was the one the prophecy was talking about. Harry and his parents had to go under protection. But their secret keeper ratted them out. Voldemort went to the Potters and killed Harry’s parents. But when he wanted to kill Harry, his spell hit himself and he died. But fourteen years later he rose again. Then three years later, the big fight in Hogwarts happened. My mum fought in the war, like my dad said, as a brave Gryffindor. It was a big fight. Everybody was fighting and-’
‘We lost a lot of people.’ Sofie and I look up and we see professor Longbottom standing there. ‘Are you telling the story again?’
He laughs and shakes his head. ‘Voldemort gave Harry a chance to surrender, sacrifice himself, for us. He took it. Voldemort thought he killed him. But he didn’t. Harry woke up and the fight began. Again. A few minutes later, I killed Voldemort’snake wich apparently had a part of Voldemort’s soul in it. So when that part of his soul was dead, Harry killed Voldemort.’ The professor continues repeatedly looking at Lavender and another woman standing in the living room.
‘If there would be another war, would you do it all over again? Protecting your friends, fighting for life or dead.’ I ask.
A short and determined answer follows; ‘Yes.’
‘And why do you want me to meet the Weasleys?’
‘The Weasleys lost a member of their family. I want you to meet George because your father was a good friend of his. A family friend. And you look just like him, like your dad.’
The woman standing next to the professor puts her arm around him.
The woman, with blonde-brown hair suddenly says: ‘I’m Hannah Abbott. Neville’s fiancée.’
We shake hands while I keep staring at him.
‘I almost died, would you cry like this if I did?’ Lavender says when she walks in the living room with John.
‘Of course, my darling.’ He winks playfully and they laugh.
‘Where you in the same year at Hogwarts?’
‘Yes, we were. Same year, same house.’ Lavender answers me.
‘But we weren’t as good as friends before the war.’
They both smile at me.
‘Shall we go then?’ Sofie asks impatiently.
‘Okay. Mischa and Mrs. Grand-’
‘Please, if I can call you Neville, you can call me Lauren.’
‘Mischa and M-Lauren. Grab my arm please. Hannah, are you going to go by yourself or-.’
‘I’ll go with you.’
My mum, Hannah and I grab his arm and we apparate from our Southgate house to a small café.
The Leaky Cauldron.