The Boy With The Pale Pointed Face
So that was how it started.
It turned out my parents had been a wizard and a witch. It turned out I was a witch.
Hagrid explained to me that they were killed by an evil wizard called Lord Voldemort. Not killed in a car crash like my aunt and uncle had told me.
Apparently, this Voldemort had also tried to kill me, which explained the funny lightning bolt shaped scar on my forehead.
And after discovering all of that, I was ecstatic to find out that not only was I rich, but I was to attend a wizarding school called Hogwarts where I would learn about magic.
Hagrid took me to a place called Diagon Alley in London to purchase all the things I would need for my new school.
He steered me to a shop called ′Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions’ to go and get my school robes, whilst abandoning me to go and have a drink in the pub.
Nervously, I entered the shop on my own and came face to face immediately with a squat, smiling witch dressed all in mauve.
“Hogwarts, dear?” she spoke kindly. “Got the lot here - another young man being fitted up just now, in fact.”
I looked to the back of the shop where a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes.
Madam Malkin stood me on a stool next to his, slipping a long robe over my head as she began pinning it to the right length.
“Hullo,” the boy said, turning to face me. “Hogwarts too?”
“Yes,” I replied, not knowing what else to say.
“My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking for wands,” he said, in a bored, drawling voice. “Then I’m going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don’t see why first years can’t have their own. I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.”
I was strongly reminded of Dudley.
“Have you got your own broom?” the boy went on, his silver-grey eyes looking questioningly into mine.
“No,” I said, stiffly. I was not liking him one bit.
“Play Quidditch at all?”
“No,” I answered, wondering what on earth Quidditch could be.
"I do - Father says it’s a crime if I’m not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree. Know what house you’ll be in yet?”
“No,” I said, wishing I had another word in my vocabulary right now.
“Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I’ll be in Slytherin, all our family have been - imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?”
“Mmm,” I said, thinking what a git this boy sounded.
“I say, look at that man!” the boy said suddenly, nodding towards the front window. I saw Hagrid standing there, grinning at me, and pointing to two large ice-creams to show he could not come in.
“That’s Hagrid,” I said, pleased to know something the boy did not. “He works at Hogwarts.”
“Oh,” said the boy. “I’ve heard of him. He’s a sort of servant, isn’t he?”
“He’s the gamekeeper,” I replied. I was liking this boy less and less every second.
“Yes, exactly. I heard he’s a sort of savage - lives in a hut in the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic and ends up setting fire to his bed.”
“I think he’s brilliant,” I said coldly.
"Do you?” the boy said, a sneer creeping on his lips. “Why is he with you? Where are your parents?”
“They’re dead.” I said shortly. I did not feel like getting into this matter with this awful boy.
“Oh, sorry.” But he did not sound sorry at all, I noted. “But they were our kind, weren’t they?”
“They were a witch and wizard, if that’s what you mean.”
“I really don’t think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families. What’s your surname, anyway?”
Before I could answer this vile boy, Madam Malkin interrupted.
“That’s you done, my dear.” And I hopped down from the footstool, not at all sorry for an excuse to stop talking to this boy.
“Well, I’ll see you at Hogwarts, I suppose,” the boy drawled.
And then here I was. At Kings Cross on the first day of September. I could not get my head around it.
I felt a bit daft, standing around with an old-fashioned trunk and a caged bird - Hedwig, my new snowy owl which Hagrid had told me I would somehow need.
I mean, sure. At this point, I just smiled and nodded as I went with the flow. Nothing could be worse than sleeping under the stairs, after all.
The problem was, I could not work out how to get onto platform nine and three quarters.
And then I saw a family with similar luggage to mine. They were all red haired and bickering jovially to one another.
“Hullo, dear,” the woman said kindly, seeing my befuddled expression. “First time at Hogwarts? Ron’s new, too.”
I smiled shyly at the freckled, lanky boy in front of me. His cheeks turned a shade of pink.
They showed me how to get onto platform nine and three quarters and the next thing I knew, I was on the gleaming scarlet train known as the Hogwarts Express.
“Anyone sitting there?” the boy called Ron asked, as he entered the compartment I had vacated. “Everywhere else is full.”
I shook my head and he sat down. I noticed him staring at my forehead in awe.
“Are you really Henrietta Potter?” he blurted out.
I nodded, feeling my cheeks flush as I tried to smooth my hair over my scar. “I like to be called Etta, though.”
Ron smiled, looking rather abashed.
“Sorry, it’s just, you know, you are quite famous.”
The moments that followed, Ron and I got to know each other well. I flashed my cash and bought us a trolley full of sweets as we talked about what life at Hogwarts might bring us. I was so chuffed to make a friend. A real friend.
At one point, during our long journey, we were visited by a bushy haired girl and a round faced boy looking for a lost toad. Both Ron and I giggled at the bushy haired witch’s eagerness to know everything.
A bit later in our journey, the compartment door reopened, and three boys entered. I instantly recognised the middle one as the pale boy from Madam Malkin’s robe shop. He was looking at me with an interest he had not shown back in Diagon Alley.
“Is it true?” he said. “They’re saying all down the train that Henrietta Potter’s in this compartment. So, it is you, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I replied, looking at the other boys. Both were thickset and looked extremely mean. They almost looked like bodyguards to the mean pale boy.
“Oh, this is Crabbe, and this is Goyle,” the pale boy said carelessly. “And my name’s Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.”
Both Ron and I sniggered.
“Think my name’s funny, do you?” Draco spat, glaring at Ron. “No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasley’s have red hair, freckles and more children than they can afford.”
His cold, grey eyes turned to me.
“You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help there.”
And then, he held out a hand towards me. I just looked at it, trying to suppress an amused smirk that had begun to tug at my lips.
“I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks,” I replied coolly, cocking an eyebrow.
Did he seriously think I would want to shake hands with a bully like him?
I noticed a pink tinge appear in Draco’s cheeks as I left him hanging.
“I’d be careful if I were you, Potter,” he said slowly. “Unless you’re a bit politer you’ll go the same way as your parents. They didn’t know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riff-raff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid and it’ll rub off on you.”
Ron and I both stood up at once. Ron was shaking in anger, his face as red as his hair.
“Say that again,” he said.
“Oh, you’re going to fight us, are you?” Draco sneered.
“Unless you get out now,” I said, a lot more bravely than I felt since I did not fancy my chances much with Crabbe and Goyle.
“But we don’t feel like leaving, do we boys? We’ve eaten all our food and you still seem to have some.”
Our eyes all swivelled over to the pile of sweets which were scattered all over the seats. Goyle reached towards the Chocolate Frogs next to Ron and then let out a terrible yell.
Ron’s rat, Scabbers, was hanging off his finger. I could not help but giggle.
The three of them quickly disappeared after that.
“What a git!” I laughed incredulously. “Who does he think he is, anyway?”
“I’ve heard of his family,” Ron said darkly. “They were some of the first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared. Said they’d been bewitched. My dad doesn’t believe it. He says Malfoy’s father didn’t need an excuse to go over to the Dark Side.”
A shiver went down my spine at the mention of my parent’s murderer. I looked to where Draco had been standing and hatred ebbed through me. I never believed I could meet a boy I loathed more than Dudley.
But that was before I met Draco Malfoy.