Strange Emerson Twins
Eva was awoken by a cold wet nose poking her cheek. She opened her eyes groggily. "What?" she asked pushing Myster off her chest as she rolled to her side.
"I require food now and as my non-owner you are expected to give it to me," Myster whispered to her as he stepped on her face.
"Alright," she whispered harshly back and climbed out of her bed. As her eyes opened she realized that she was not in her room in Caterjune Square. For a moment, she was frightened but then she remembered everything that had happened the day before. She was in her dorm room at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Around the small circular room were her five roommates all still sleeping, some very unlady-like. She could hear small noises of snoring and heavy breathing which she supposed was the reason that Myster felt free to talk.
In her trunk she found the small box of "Everlasting Cat Food". She bought it at Magical Menageries and the patron promised that even though the box was small, it was sure to feed even the largest of cats for a better part of the year. Along with this she had gotten two bowls, one for water and one for food, that Michael had engraved, using magic, Myster's name.
Myster quickly hopped off the bed and began feasting on his meal. Eva, however, began looking through her trunk. She pulled out her school uniform for the day. When she bought them from the store they were all blank, mainly because no one knew which house they would be placed in. But as she pulled them out she found that the Gryffindor emblem was on the breast of the sweater vest and the tie had changed to colors of red and gold.
"I love magic," she said and gleamed at the beautiful lion.
"Who do you love?" said a voice from behind her. She turned and saw that Swan was rising slowly from her bed. Her once perfectly groomed air was now tangled and hanging in her face and she looked much different without the large amounts of makeup. Swan stepped out of bed and stretched as a bell in the distance began to chime. "Alright ladies, it is time to start the day. We have plenty of makeup and hair to fix before we show this school who the new first years are."
It was a slow morning for most of the girls, atleast in Eva's mind. They spent several minutes combing out their hair and putting it up in strange updos with clips and bows and all sorts of odd trinkets.
It only took a moment for Eva to get dressed and as she watched everyone else from her bed she wondered how odd their routines were.
Myster climbed up on her lap for an ear scratch though not wanting to be pet.
Swan finally jumped onto Eva's bed, starting to pet Myster with little success. "So Eva, that is all you're going to do to get ready for the first day of school?"
Eva looked down at her uniform and robes. They were the same as everyone else. "Well, I didn't think I had to do anything else."
"Oh my dear, sweet Eva. This your first opportunity to make an impression for all those boys and girls at this school. If you don't stand out visually then no one will notice how amazing you are."
"I didn't realize," Eva said, not convinced.
"Here, let me help," Swan sweeped in starting on her makeup. Eva cringed when she patted her brush full of a bright pink powder meant for her eyes.
"Is that too much?" She asked patting away the pink and looking for another shade. With a few more failures, she finally settled on a light gold powder to match the gold of the lions mane. Eva quickly turned down the mascara and instead put on a pink lip gloss.
The hair was the next challenge. Eva had thick spiraling curls that did not liked to be touched. Swan immediately pulled out her brush and began to pull through the knots. Eva winced every time she ripped through. Eventually, Swan enlisted the help of the other girls and Eva just sat with her eyes shut.
Finally, all the girls took a step back and pondered at her. She opened her eyes and then turned to look in the mirror. Her hair had puffed out to twice its size, making her look like a lion. Her golden eyes widened.
"It's okay, I can fix this," Swan quickly came in and started twisting her hair into a braid. At the end she placed a red bow. "There, all better. And now ladies, it is show time."
The five girls walked down the spiral staircase to the common room. Many students were anxiously waiting around. Swan was looking around the room for others that she knew. She stopped in front of a group of first year boys. At the center of this group was Sparrow who was joking with some of his new found friends. One of which was Teric, the sheepish boy from the sorting ceremony.
"Eva?" he said questioning, hoping he had remembered correctly.
"Oh, hi Teric," Eva said with a small, lip gloss stained smile. "What is everyone waiting for?" She asked as a group of upper classmen walked past and out of the common room.
"They said that first years have to be escorted, so we don't get lost," Teric replied over the noise. He was soon pushed away by Swan.
"Eva, do you remember my brother?" Swan shoved her forward towards the twin.
"Hello Sparrow," Eva said pushing herself back into the huddle of girls.
"See, she remembers your name!" Swan spoke in a suggestive voice. She then leaned in and whispered something in her brother's ear. Eva feared what she was saying had something to do with last night's conversation.
Sparrow quickly shoved her back and smirked, "that is only because you twisted her words into saying so. Hey Eva, don't listen to my sister, she is of her nutter." He turned back into his group as the boys chuckled.
Swan turned around. "It's alright ladies, these are not the boys we should be trying to impress," she said clearly trying to deter the huddle of boys without avail.
"If not them, then who Swan?" asked Luanne rather quietly amongst the group.
"Anyone besides first years. The trick is that we need to make the upper classmen think that we are older." Swan waved flirtatiously at a group of third years who clearly were not paying attention.
"First years, this way to the great hall," Tonya Howard called over the large group. Her and Renly corralled the group down the confusing hallways and stairwells to the Great Hall. Older students were already eating and conversing about the new school year.
The girls found an open area and began filling their plates with the food before them. Eva was quite nervous and could only manage to pick up a grape fruit to eat. She took her spoon and began carving out a slice when Sparrow sat beside her with his hoard of boys. This startled her for just a moment, enough to make the slice of fruit fly from her spoon onto the boys plate next to her.
Eva grimaced at what just happened, feeling embarrassed. Sparrow looked over at her for a moment. He then picked up the slice, stared at it, and then tossed it into his mouth.
"Thanks," he said simply and then stuff his plate with food. Eva took a light breath feeling the heat leaving her reddened cheeks. "So Eva," he began again, "why my sister?" He looked over at her questioningly.
Eva thought a moment, knowing that Swan was seated right next to her and could hear the conversation if she wanted to. "Well, she befriended me first. I didn't have many friends before this."
Sparrow squinted at her. "You didn't have any friends."
"Well, I'm friends with my dad," though it was still strange to call him that, "and my aunt, and this lady in my town that makes magic books called Madame Posthumous, and a librarian named Emmolt who lets me borrow his..."
"These people sound ancient," Sparrow interjected. "I meant, like kid friends, like us?"
Us, did this mean that Sparrow was her friend now too? Eva tried to search for something to say but was at a loss. Perhaps it was odd that she had no friends her age.
Sparrow must have noticed her thoughts, "well, I mean that's cool though that you hang out with more mature people. I guess it's better than..."
"WHAT? Hanging out with me?" Swan had peaked her head around Eva to bother her brother.
"Yes, that is exactly what I was going to say. You took the words right out of my..."
"Big, fat, stupid mouth. You know, she is glad to be friends with me because I am..."
"Going to make her into a painted clown who looks for the attention of boys," he said craning his neck around Eva to see his sister.
There was a long silence between the two of them as they glared at one another.
Suddenly, Swan broke down and laughed. "I love you twin!" She then went back to her food.
"Yeah, I know, I know," Sparrow said and went back to his.
Eva was left confused. Was this what it was like to have a sibling?
The conversations were light throughout the morning breakfast. Mainly, about boys from the girl's side and Quidditch from the boy's.
A peak of interest came from the entrance of the hall. Students stood up and pointed as a storm of owls entered the grand room. Eva watched as they dropped packages, envelopes, and, for some, even droppings. Fortunately, a small letter dropped in front of her plate. She looked up to see the large black wings flapping around the room. Gatsby made a loud sound as if to say hello or goodbye or maybe "here's your stupid letter".
Evan turned her attention back to her note. It was a silvery envelope with black ink inscribing her name in Michael's handwriting. She opened the letter and began reading:
I hope that your journey and first day in Hogwarts have been enjoyable. I can still remember my first day. I was nervous, anxious but most importantly excited. I know that you will do splendidly in your first year. Just remember, the fates brought you to this moment for a reason. You were destined to become a better witch and go to Hogwarts.
I will miss you incredibly, though I know that every day you are away from your family, you are becoming a better which. Your Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt and Uncle all wish you the best as well. Keep us updated at what is going on.
Eva smiled at the comforting words of her father. She tucked the letter carefully inside her robes and finished her breakfast.
Once their meals were finished, the dirtied plates disappeared from the table. Tonya and August came over to the group of first years carrying a stack of parchment. They began floating the parchment to each first year.
"These are your schedules for school. All first year Gryffindors are required to take these courses including flying," August began.
Eva looked at her schedule. On Mondays and Wednesdays she had Transfigurations with Professor Oakenheart, Potions with Professor Evermore, and History of Magic with Professor Shufflebottum. On Monday during the day and on Wednesdays at midnight she had Astronomy with Professor Asptania. The names seemed so funny, of the class and the teachers. She didn't really know what some of it meant but she continued to read on to her Tuesday and Thursday classes. On those particular days she would go to Charms with Professor Nikolas Hillborn, Herbology with Professor Smeely, and Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Cypress. She saw that she had a study hall with Professor Dwyer, the head of her house, on these days as well. Finally, for her Friday classes, she had two; in the morning was her flying lessons with Professor Fowl and in the afternoon all it said was private studies with Madame Duquette. She wasn't sure what that meant.
"You may not have classes with everyone in your house so it might be a good idea to learn your way around the school on your own. At the bottom of the parchment August enchanted a special map that will help you get to where you need to go. First years have two different classes during your first period. Half of you will go to Transfiguration and the other with go to Potions," Tonya continued. "I will lead the Transfiguration students to their class and Renly will take the rest. Please keep up so we don't lose anyone." With that everyone started to disperse.
"Eva what do you have first period?" Swan asked trying to see her schedule.
"I have Transfiguration, and you?"
Swan squealed loudly, "we have our first class together!" She grabbed Eva's hand and followed after Tonya.
The halls were hectic as they wound their way around the school. There was an energy around them that filled the school with excitement. Finally, Tonya came to a set of large double doors.
"Alright, first years, this is your first class for the day. It is always held in Classroom 1b though we call it the Transfiguration Classroom. You will be in this classroom for five years so remember to make a good first impression. Look at your maps please." All the students looked down at their papers. "You are on the ground level next to the courtyard which is at the center of Hogwarts. You will be on your own getting to your next class but just follow the map."
Eva noticed that there were a set of footprints standing in front of the door that said Transfiguration. She moved slightly and found that when she moved the footprints moved as well. August must know a lot about magic to create something so useful.
"Good luck and make Gryffindor proud. Don't keep Professor Oakenheart waiting." Tonya left the first years at the large doors.
"Alright, smile everyone," Swan said and pulled on the heavy doors. The five Gryffindor students entered into the large room together.
The group slowly walked into the room. It appeared that the other students had already arrived and were standing around the room waiting for instructions from an absent instructor. In the center of the room was a large desk covered in books and papers. Behind the desk was a chalk board with big letters spelling out TRANFIGURATIONS.
The Gryffidors stood in a huddle and eyed the large room. It was filled with odd gadgets and diagrams of different objects.
Suddenly, a girl called across the room. "Look who it is, the girl whose mind frightened a hat so much it wouldn't stay on her head!" Eva instantly froze, wide eyed and anxious. She saw across the room that it was a girl with short brown hair and a small beauty mark above her lip. She smirked in Eva's direction as the others standing around her chuckled. By the looks of her robes she was a Slytherin.
"Oh, lay off will you," Swan piped up and stood in front of her friend, "didn't you know that being a rude Slytherin went out of fashion when following the Dark Lord did."
Eva didn't understand the comeback but she was glad that she didn't have to defend herself.
"You don't think there'sh another Dark Lord out there making a return. And guesh who will be there when the daysh get dark again," retorted another girl from behind her with long auburn hair and squinting eyes covered in dark makeup. She had a slight lisp which made it difficult to say her s's.
"Sherra Sherpentina," Swan came again, clearly making fun of her speech, "don't even start with that dark crap, everyone knows that your parents are at the Ministry working under the Minister as his gophers."
Eva leaned in quickly, "Please Swan, I don't want to do this on the first day."
It seemed that Swan's final attempt to bring them down worked. Serra turned her back towards the other Slytherins along with the original offender.
"Sorry, I just can't stand people being so rude," Swan whispered back.
"I just don't think we should do mean things to those people that are rude. We are just acting like them," Eva said her face red with embarrassment.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't even think. I just react. Well, let's just try to avoid those two. Serra's parents work with my uncle so I know all about her. The other one is named Cecilia Jarre. I met her on the train, she seemed so nice. But for some reason when first years get put in Slytherin they think they have to live up to this standard."
The room had become very quiet as they continued to wait for the Professor who had yet to enter. Finally, a small door, tucked away in a corner, creaked opened and an old man hobbled out from behind it. He had orange hair that was starting to frost from old age. This also matched his unkept beard and mustache. He wore spectacles on his nose though it didn't seem like he was looking through them as he stepped closer to his desk.
"I always wonder," the professor began and took a long pause, "how the first day will go for first years. Will it be uncomfortable, tense, sweet, annoying or just plain old stupid?" His voice became very harsh towards the end of his sentence. "Now, that we have all of that silly nonsense that woke me from my nap we can get started with our day. And if any one of you decide to through another verbal punch you will be out of here faster than you can say "Transfigurations". That is what we are learning here. Now take a seat, but you must sit next to someone who is not from your house."
No one moved for a moment but instead looked around the room anxiously at each other. With the incident only minutes before everyone was afraid of who they were going to sit next too.
"Oh, come on now. The last one to find a seat I will turn into a toad and I mean it. I'm not all together up here," Professor Oakenheart said pointing to his head and giving a crazy look.
Everyone quickly started moving about the room as if playing musical chairs and the music was just turned off.
Eva hoped to get to a table first and then allow someone else to join. She didn't know who she wanted to sit with but hoped it was not one of those nasty Slytherin girls.
She quickly found a seat in the front right, which it seemed no other students were heading for. As she sat down she waited nervously for another student to plop down next to her.
It seemed like they were not moving fast enough when the professor started to pull out his wand and say a strange language.
Suddenly, all was still. Eva looked to the chair next to her and found a nervous little boy sitting next to her. He wore Ravenclaw robes and had large black frame glasses on his face. He didn't look at her but instead up at the professor who seemed settled with the students seats.
Oakenheart picked up a paper and quill and seemed to release them into the air. They floated there easily and then moved from seat to seat, stopping in front of each students. The quill would pause a moment and then scribble down a name. By the time it reach Eva, the professor began his lecture.
"Transfiguration, the ability to change one object into another. Through magic we can morph plain, physical creations in to new and more exceptional creations," Oakenhart pointed his wand at his mug that sat on the corner of his desk and with a flick of his wand the mug changed into an elegant goblet; gold and ornately decorated. "And just the same you can do vice versa." He pointed again, and with an elegant twist of the wrist the goblet reverted to a small, glass cup still filled with a honey colored tea; a small tea steeper bobbing inside.
"Likewise, this includes vanishing objects, conjuring objects, and the good old switch-a-roo," he said with each topic portraying the action; he made a pile of parchment disappear from his desk, replaced it with a fish bowl with a small gold fish inside, and switched the fish and the steeper from bowl to glass, and then back again. At the end he paused and chuckled to himself, almost seeming to drift into his own day dream.
Oakenhart snapped himself out of it and picked up the glass of tea, now with the steeper inside of it. He took a sip as the class of first years cringed.
"Now," he slammed the emptied glass onto the table focusing the class back on him, "this is not some toy that you can use whenever you want for whatever you want. There are rules just like in the rest of the world. You don't want to be put away in Azkaban for screwing it up."
Eva almost leaned over and asked her table mate what Azkaban was but she restrained herself and left a mental note for herself to ask Swan afterwards.
"Who can tell me what the Five Principle Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration."
There was a long silence but the professor waited for someone to respond. Finally, Cecilia raised her hand slowly.
"Ah yes," Oakenhart summoned the quill and parchment back to his side. He looked over the list, "Ms. Jarre do you know one of the suggestions."
"Well, one time my older brother wanted this really amazing broomstick; the Momentum 500. He couldn't afford it so he tried to create enough galleons to buy it but when he went to the store to get it, the money disintegrated at the counter. My parents took away his wand for a full month," Cecilia paused and looked around at all eyes on her. "What? It's true."
Oakenhart slowly nodded, "Yes, Ms. Jarre that is correct. Money is illegal to duplicate or even steal. Most of the time it was disappear or even disintegrate into nothing. Very good, give me another."
The boy next to Eva raised his hand. "Yes, Mr. Hubgump," Oakenhart said moving closer to their table. Eva held her breath hoping he wouldn't look at her for any answers. She didn't even know who Gamp was.
"Yes sir," her tablemate whose last name was Hubgump began, "Food sir. It cannot be created from nothing, however if you know where the food is located you can conjure it. Lastly, you can multiply food that is in front of you, unfortunately it doesn't always retain a pleasing taste." The boys voice with very strict and he sounded as though he knew what he was talking about.
"Very well explained Mr. Hubgump. Another?"
"Magical objects, professor," a Hufflepuff named Victoria said. "The Ministry has put a ban on multiplying, or conjuring magical object which do not belong to the wizard himself."
"Yes, sometimes it is difficult to track such a copious action but in this time of peace dueling between witches and wizards is at an all time low. The need for magical items is not as necessary." Oakenhart had enchanted a piece of chalk to scribble down the exceptions as students were answering and many of the students began to copy them down on their parchment.
Eva looked over to see Hubgump, which whom she did not know his first name yet, as he furiously began to write, though it was difficult to read. Eva figured she should do the same but the thought of doing magic was still so foreign and unobtainable.
Swan raised her hand and Oakenhart gestured towards her looking at his parchment for her name. "You cannot transfigure love. There are love potions which create a false since of love but you cannot make someone really love you."
"Yes Ms. Emerson, very insightful. Like you said, those silly love potions are only temporary. True love cannot be create by any magic that we know." Oakenhart stopped and looked around the room. There was silence and one exception left. No one seemed to know what it was. "It is funny, that all of these four exceptions should be said first. The most important is often times the most overlooked. This final exception has never been done successfully. Many have tried and failed, usually creating something more profoundly terrible than before. It is often taken for granted. Life, my good people, life cannot be manipulated. Death is one of those things that we cannot overlook but so often try to escape."
Oakenhart continued to speak but Eva suddenly did not hear anything he was saying. The world around her seemed to fade and all she could hear was sharp breaths as if someone was running. She felt heat upon her face, as if a fire had broken in front of her. The thought ended with cries of sorrow and all she could see was red.
"And now you will discuss this topic with your table mate and turn in a single one page response by the end of class," Oakenhart finished. Eva found herself back in the classroom, feeling tired as if waking from a deep sleep. Around her she saw students busily working and then saw Hubgump staring at her, quill and parchment ready to write.
"So, what do you think?" he said, staring at her through his thick glasses.
"Umm," she began not sure what they were having to discuss. She looked up at the board and saw that it had been erased of the Five Principle Exceptions and instead a question. What are the practical uses of Transfiguration in everyday life?
When had he written that question down, she thought to her self. She didn't remember any of this. Soon, she realized Hubgump was still staring at her. "Uh, I guess if you needed a fork but only had spoon."
"Ah yes, that would make sense. Even the other way around. You couldn't eat oatmeal or jello with a fork." The boy began to scribbled down his name at the top. Francis Hubgump. Under his name he wrote Eva Highmore. He must remember her from the opening ceremony.
They continued to discuss the topic, though his insights were more appropriate to the question. They came up with ten fairly good answers before class was over with. Francis took up the parchment and set it on Oakenhart's desk then nodded to Eva and left.
Nice boy, she thought and was grateful to have a kind partner. She placed all of her materials in her bag and found Swan waiting by the door to leave.
"Are you okay Eva? You seemed to be spacing there in the middle of class."
"Yes," Eva began, "I just was thinking about home." She lied not really sure what she was actually thinking about. "So, what do you have next?"
"I have History of Magic with Professor Shufflebottom. Oh, this is sure to be thrilling. I hear is really weird. What about you?" She asked peeking over to look at my schedule.
"Astronomy," Eva looked at the map seeing the small footsteps pointing her in the right direction.
"Oh darn, well I will see you next period in Potions. Do you think you can find your way?" She said and Eva nodded even though she didn't believe herself. She looked at the map and followed the directions to the Astronomy tower.