1. The letter
1. The letter
Her sister shook her out of bed as graciously as she could, and that means not much.
El jumped out of her paradise blanket before shooting one of her famous glares at her younger sister. "Hey, what was that for?"
"It's the first of September, you idiot! We're supposed to be at school at five, remember?"
Right, the day before the reprise of school.
Elyn groaned. She hated that period of summer when effectively summer was ending.
Clara and her were to be in their school yard at five that day, if only to receive the same speech of their headmistress as every year.
But that day would be different.
"Elyn, what are you wearing?"
El glared at her mother. "A skirt, why?"
"You know that I wish you to be well-dressed for a school-day!"
"This isn't a school day!"
"Go back up in your room and get out of that skirt! I want to see you in a proper pantalon in a dozen!"
Elyn glared again, then sighed, but still turned around to climb back the stairs to her room.
The first door on the left was Clara's room. For a fifteen-year-old, her sister was a total bookworm. A huge library covered most of the walls, and then the rest was covered into every collectible possible picture on the same topic. Harry Potter.
Elyn rolled her eyes when she passed before the open door, when she saw Clara's replica of McGonagall's wand onto her desk. Obviously, she had been sleeping with it. Again.
The second door on the left was the bathroom, when the last door onto the corridor was her own room. A total mess compared to Cla's room, but still, hers. Her walls were covered in nothing but flags, Union Jacks to be precise, because she loved to draw it everywhere.
She grabbed the pendant at her neck and smiled. The Ring shone in sunlight, and she could almost hear Gollum saying 'My precious' from under her desk.
That was it. If Clara was a total HP fan, Elyn was a total LOTR fan.
And that drove their parents mad.
As she grabbed a casual pair of jeans into her closet, Elyn heard a strange knocking on glass, as if someone had been launching stones at her window. But when she lifted her gaze, the reality was totally different.
It was an owl at her window. Knocking on the glass with its beak.
"Shoo, shoo!" She tried to effectively shoo it off, but the bird stayed there, and then Elyn saw.
At its paw, the owl was carrying a letter.
"You've got to be kidding me!"
Nevertheless, she opened the window and glared as the owl outstretched its paw for her to take the letter.
And surely, on it was written 'Elyn Foren, last bedroom first floor, 2 Milburn Close, Bournemouth'.
"Seriously?" She glared at the bird, but it just huffed and then took off. Elyn followed it until it disappeared into the clouds.
Then she stared at the envelope.
White but not too much, with a dark red seal bearing the coat of arms of nothing else but Hogwarts.
'Dear Miss Foren,
We are happy to tell you that you have been admitted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The school-year will begin this September 1st. The train that will lead you to the school will depart at eleven o'clock precisely on platform 9 ¾ in King's Cross Station.
We are awfully aware that starting your seventh and therefore last year in our school without ever being in a Witch school before can be incapacitating, but everything has been done to make sure that you will get used to our way of life.
Of course, you wouldn't have been able to buy every furniture that you will need in your classes, therefore, we have taken care of it and everything is patientely waiting for you at Hogwarts.
You will obviously be sorted on your arrival, and your wand will be delivered to you by Headmaster Dumbledore after that feast.
Professor Minerva McGonagall.'
Elyn stared at the paper for approximatively ten minutes before Clara knocked onto her door.
"El? Is everything alright? You should be down already!"
She slowly turned around and every clog in her mind started to work. "Yeah, everything's fine, Clara, except your pathetic joke! What is this?" She showed her the offending letter.
Clara took the paper into her hands and shrugged. "What? That's just another of your potentials' letter!"
Elyn huffed and showed her the seal. "And this?"
"What? That's a normal stamp! For Heaven's, El, what's with you today!"
And Clara stormed off the room.
Elyn stayed there until her parents came to fetch her to go to the station.
"Elyn Foren, you'd better move or you'll be late, and you know that I hate to be late!"
She lowered her gaze and grabbed her shoes, following her mother out of the house and into the car, still griping the letter.
She had read it over and again after Clara's departure. And it wasn't a potential's letter.
"So, is everything clear? At eight o'clock, you take the train back here, and your father will be waiting at the entrance of the station. Right?"
Elyn and Clara rolled their eyes, and then both nodded. "Yes, mother!"
Their mum nodded back and hugged each of her daughters quickly before walking back to her husband.
Behind the sisters, a shiny blue train had stopped, and then got in without a look back.
"So, are you better?"
Elyn looked at her sister, who was staring at her carefully. She nodded. "Yeah, fine." The letter still burned her fingers in her pocket, but she ignored it. "Look, Cla, I wondered...is platform 9 ¾ real?"
Clara's eyes lit up, as everytime she got to talk about her favourite topic. She nodded her head so hard Elyn thought she might head-butt herself on the box's table. "Yes, it is! After the success of the movies, they actually put a plaque in between platforms 9 and 10 in King's Cross! Wanna see when we arrive?"
Elyn didn't know what to answer, so just produced a sound between a 'yes' and a 'maybe'.
Clara then started talking about the many times people had tried to cross the wall under the mention 9 ¾ and always failed.
Elyn didn't care.
She had a feeling this day wasn't over yet.
When their train stopped, exactly three hours after departing, Elyn had her head throbbing, both because of her sister's incessant chatting and the words of the letter in her pocket dancing before her eyes.
It was exactly 10.37.
Clara got down the train first and pulled on Elyn's hand to drive her towards her dreamy platform.
And Elyn could almost not breathe.
Each and every person in the station now looked suspicious to her.
The train leaves at eleven precisely.
"See? That's cool, innit?"
Clara had driven her elder sister before the golden plaque saying 'Here would lie platform 9 ¾.'
Elyn nodded and swallowed uneasily. She felt all colour leave her face as she stared at the clock above her head. 10.48.
"El? Are you alright, you're white as death!"
She nodded but didn't look at Clara. She had spotted someone in the crowd, someone pushing a trunk. A very high trunk. With coat of arms on it. Hogwarts'.
And she felt all air leave her lungs when the boy, merely an infant, casually walked to the wall under the golden plaque and got through it.
Elyn ignored her sister and walked to the wall, put a hand on it, and...vanished.
Barely felt a solid brick wall before being sucked on the other side.
It was 10.53 and the Hogwarts' Express was waiting for her.