Once she was sure it was gone, Effie collapsed onto her seat in a heap. Steadying her breath and finally allowing herself to feel the fear that she had pushed down, she began to shake slightly. Only after she had fully calmed herself did she dare to look up at Luna who was watching her with disbelief. A thick tension built between them, only broken when Luna spoke again.
"Did you know dementors used to be Muggles who couldn't have their memory erased?"
Effie let out a small bubble of laughter. She had no doubt that this "fact" wasn't real but she really appreciated how much lighter Luna's remark had made her feel. Leave it to Luna to relieve the weight of a stressful situation. Her demeanor had changed almost immediately back to her inquisitive and odd self.
A tall, lean looking man in worn looking robes knocked gently on the door to the girls' compartment. As Luna slid open the door for him, Effie noted the long scratches etched into his face. With a gasp she came to a realization.
She wished she could take it back as soon as she said it and mentally cursed herself for her big mouth with both Luna and Lupin.The man turn to her with a face of confusion.
"What did you say, young lady?"
"Oh, nothing. I'm just a little out of it, that's all."
After a moment more of staring, the man seemed to find that as an acceptable answer. He cleared his throat.
"My name is Professor Lupin, I'll be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts this year. I heard from some students in your neighboring compartments that they saw a dementor come in here. I was wondering if you girls are okay."
Before Effie could speak, Luna responded to the man.
"We are great! All thanks to Effie over here. It was brilliant."
Lupin turned his attention to Effie as Luna continued speaking. Effie internally willed Luna to stop but couldn't let her emotions show on her face, as Lupin was seemingly studying her micro emotions.
"She faced it head on and told it to leave then cast a spell and it went away. Very pretty by the way, Effie."
This fact seemed to interest him. Pulling out a bar of chocolate from his inside coat pocket, he leaned down to the same height as the two girls in their seats and offered Luna a piece of chocolate before turning to Effie.
"What spell did you cast."
"Oh just a patronus. But not a corporeal one."
"Could've sworn it looked almost like some kind of animal. But alas, it's probably just the nargles playing tricks on me," Luna interrupted.
Lupin smiled at her before standing upright again and giving one last look at Effie. He then exited the compartment and closed the door shut behind him. Effie let out a long breath that she didn't know she had been holding in.
Pulling down her trunk, Effie fished out her Hogwarts robes before shutting the blinds. She quickly got dressed and Luna did the same. Once both girls were dressed, Effie opened the blinds and sat back down facing Luna again.
"I think I'll ask to be sorted privately. The last thing I want is attention. Plus, it'd be embarrassing to be sorted with first years."
She was trapped in an unfamiliar world where she knew next to nothing. The only thing that was clear to her was that she could not, under any circumstances, mess up the plot. A single change could be the reason behind the deaths of hundreds of her classmates. Every one of her actions could have unforeseen consequences. She made a mental not to only interact with side characters and to not draw suspicion to herself in any way.
The train tumbled onward, the darkened sky leaving all of its passengers in a chilled mood. The girls were completely prepared when the train screeched to a halt. Effie straightened her robes before stepping out into the aisle, shortly followed by Luna. The made idle small talk before getting off of the train, discussing classes, spells, and the houses.
Since she and Luna had been towards the back of the train and had taken their time walking, the area surrounding the carriages was almost empty. Only one other person was waiting there with them. He was a shy, awkward looking boy with a round face and blonde hair. The way he smiled nervously at the two girls brought a smile to Effie's face. Although she'd normally never even think of talking to a boy, let alone approaching a boy, there was something about his demeanor that felt familiar.
"Neville Longbottom, right? I'm Effie Jordan. I think you're in my year."
Neville shuffled his feet nervously.
"Nice to meet you Effie."
He looked up at the girls then blushed, returning his attention to the ground. A carriage pulled up led by two large black skeleton looking horses with cloudy white eyes and long, bony wings. Thestrals. Effie reached up her hand and pet the creature gently, giggling as it nuzzled its face into the curve of her hand. Luna soon did the same; Neville kept his distance.
The girls then hopped onto the carriage and looked to Neville expectantly.
"Neville aren't you coming?"
"Nah. I'm okay. I'll catch the next one."
"Neville don't be ridiculous. Get in."
Neville looked slightly taken aback by her words but proceeded to climb into the carriage. As the carriage pulled away none of the three noticed that a certain dark-haired boy and his friends had been watching their every move. As they bumped along the rough ground, the carriage jerked and Neville ended up falling into Luna. Effie smiled at his awkwardness as he apologized profusely and pushed himself off of her very quickly.
"Oh how rude of me. Neville, this is Luna. Luna, Neville."
Neville smiled nervously. "Hi Luna."
"Neville, what a peculiar name," Luna thought out loud which caused the boy's face to drop. "I wish my parents had named me Neville."
In an instant a smile reappeared on his face. He looked away from her with a blush and turned to Effie.
"If you are in my year, why haven't I seen you before. I'm sure I'd recognize your face."
In an instant all of Effie's troubles came washing back over her. She had been enjoying herself so much that she had forgotten her new appearance and difficult situation she was in. She felt guilty for forgetting her parents and her home and realized that she would have to be way more strategic going forward.
"Where did you go before?"
Effie struggled to come up with a response or witty remark that would help her keep her mysterious composure but also not scare Neville away. Seconds seemed stretched into weeks as the racked her brain for something to say. As she opened her mouth to speak, Luna cut her off.
"She doesn't talk about it. Sensitive subject."
Neville nodded knowingly.
"Do you know what house you are in?"
"No. I'm thinking of asking McGonagall to sort me privately. You two will be the first ones to know, though."
The short remainder of the carriage ride was spent in a comfortable silence. When the carriage finally stopped, the three slid out of their seats; Luna and Effie pet the thestrals one last time. Turning her back, Effie finally noticed the extravagant castle. It was just how she had always imagined it. The stone walls stretched to the skies, illuminated by the silver of the moonlight. different colored panes of glass shone brightly onto the grass and the courtyard. Hogwarts.
Waiting for them in front of the large castle was a very small man with pointed features and an impatient expression. Effie smiled at him.
"Later than expected but that's alright. At least you're not the last carriage to come in. That wouldn't have made the best impression. I expect you don't want to be sorted with the first years so if you'll just follow me this way."
He started to walk way but noticed Effie was hesitant to leave her new friends.
"I'm sure Longbottom will gladly escort Ms. Lovegood into the Great Hall. Follow me please Ms. Jordan."
With one last look back at her friends, Effie scurried after the man. He moved surprisingly fast for his size and Effie found herself breathing heavily by the time they reached their destination. He opened a large oak door covered in many moving carvings and gestured for her to enter the room.
From the muffled sounds of voices coming from the room over, Effie concluded that the room was connected to the Great Hall. She stared in awe at the moving portraits covering the walls, blushing when one of the more handsome subjects blinked at her. Her eyes wandered to the center of the room where a stool sat behind a woman. Dressed in green robes with her grey hair pulled tightly behind her head and under a hat, none other than Professor McGonagall stared back at her. With a small cough, she spoke.
"I am Professor McGonagall, I teach Transfiguration, and this is Professor Flitwick who will be your charms teacher. We were planning on sorting you with the first years but we understand if you'd prefer a more private sorting."
Effie nods in agreement. McGonagall then moves aside to reveal an old, worn hat sitting on top of the stool behind her. Lifting the hat, she turns back to Effie.
"Sit down right here dear."
Effie complied and sat slowly onto the stool; the hat was gently lowered onto her head. It took everything in her power not to jump with fright when the Sorting Hat spoke to her inside her head.
"Now, now. What do we have here? A new student in the third year?"
"Yes sir, but I'm hoping that I'll catch up to everyone else very quickly."
"Smart, I see. Definitely have the brains for Ravenclaw. And a desperate need to make friends. Hufflepuff could help you with that. But what is this? Bravery? You'd thrive in Gryffindor. You have potential for each of the houses. I'll leave it up to you."
"I'd hate to be unoriginal but I'll go anywhere but Slytherin."
"How'd you know someone said that before you?"
At this, Effie smiled.
"I'm just that good."
"With that sassy attitude I know exactly where you belong."
The Sorting Hate then shouted out, "GRYFFINDOR!"
Author's note: THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR THE VOTES AND COMMENTS. I am currently editing the first few chapters for some spelling and plot mistakes. ILY GUYS!!