Confessions Of A First Year Hufflepuff
This is the story of Kayla, a young muggleborn witch who has been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is the story of her exciting journey into a world she never even knew existed, filled with magic and spells and adventures she'd never even imagined.
A witch. It all made sense! That's why I could move things, that's why I could do all the things I've been doing! And a school? For people like me? This was some of the best news I had ever received, I thought I would burst. And after much begging and convincing and finally levitating my father's coffee mug off of the table for all to see, my parents agreed that this was the place for me to be.
We scoured over the letter and lists of obscure books and items I would need. Dragonhide gloves? School robes? A wand? Where would I buy all of these things? How would I get there? I had so many questions that I doubt anyone could answer for me. I rustled through the various lists and found a piece of parchment that I had yet to read. It was from Professor McGonagall, explaining to how I was a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to magic. She assured me that this has become increasingly common for this day and age and there will be students of all age ranges starting their first year at Hogwarts. She also explained in almost excruciating detail where I needed to go to buy my supplies and how to get there. I just needed to go to London, England, which happened to be a couple thousand miles away. My parents were willing to pool some of their savings to buy all of us a plane ticket and give me a bit of spending money for when I finally got to school, they would stay with me until I had to board the train for school. I'd never ridden a train before, there would be a lot of things I'd finally be doing that I'd never done before.
* * *
Summer passed by so slowly, it was almost painful. Normally I dreaded the thought of school, but my mind was just racing with possibilities. I imagined what my new school would be like and what sort of things we'd be learning. This whole new world was opening up for me that I didn't know anything about. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
We landed in London safely, after a plane ride that took what seemed like years. I should have been tired, but I was only excited. Not only was this the first time I was able to leave the country, I was going to Hogwarts. I couldn't believe it, I kept pinching myself to make sure that this wasn't a dream. The Hogwarts express wan't due to leave for another couple of days, so we decided to use that time to sight-see and do my shopping. I couldn't pay attention to the grandeur of Buckingham Palace or the beauty of the Queen's gardens. All I wanted to do was go to Diagon Alley and buy my things.
The day finally came for us to shop for my things and I could hardly sleep, by seven in the morning I ended up giving up the venture and made myself a large breakfast in order to keep myself busy until my parents woke up. We made our way to Charing Cross Road, where professor McGonagall said we would find a place called "The Leaky Cauldron" which would take us to where we needed to go.
Entering the Leaky Cauldron was like going into the past, it was almost medieval. A strange combination of people lingered inside the pub, some wearing modern clothes, and some wearing clothes that probably haven't been in style for hundreds of years. All of them were drinking out of goblets or pints, eating off of old metal plates. The room was dark and I had to strain my eyes to see properly. The walls were cluttered with old pictures covered in a layer of dust and- did that picture just move?! And that one there, on the corner? I turned to one of the men at the bar in disbelief and he smiled at me with an understanding gaze. He turned his gaze up to the pictures on the walls and told me with a cockney accent
"It's all right love, the pictures here tend to do that, you'll get used to it. I promise"
I looked up to the photos, and they were still moving. I had a feeling that today would be filled with strange new discoveries.
"Excuse me, could you direct us to Diagon Alley?" I asked the man who was still gazing up at the pictures.
"Ah, right! You're probably a student. First year eh? You can get to it through the back room. There's a brick wall there, just remember from the trash can, three up and two across,"
I had no idea what he meant, but we made our way to the back room anyways. Maybe he meant I had to tap a certain brick? I looked up at the wall and located a trashcan that was lingering a bit to the side, I counted three up and two across and pushed in the brick, which seemed a little loose. With that, the wall gave away and opened up to an extremely busy street bustling with people dressed in robes I had never seen before. A girl passed in a witch's hat that I had always seen in cartoons. I couldn't believe it, this was Diagon Alley!
It took ages, but after opening my vault in Gringotts where the school had given me spending money for supplies, we had found all the books I needed to buy, my cauldron, robes, gloves, and various other equipment that I couldn't yet guess the use for. All that was left was to buy a pet and a wand.
That's when I saw him in the window, the most beautiful barn owl I had ever laid eyes on. I rushed inside and asked if he was for sale and luckily he was. I didn't yet understand what the function of having an owl was, but I knew that this was the owl for me. I named him Henry, and I hugged his cage close to my chest as we made our way to Ollivanders to buy the last thing on my list, a wand.
I was welcomed by an old man who was a little bent from age, he looked like he was nearly a hundred years old, but his eyes shone bright behind his bushy eyebrows that showed that he still had lots of spirit. He motioned for me to come closer and I handed Henry's cage over to my father. The old man started shuffling through little boxes that were stacked all the way to the ceiling of the shop.
"Um, I've come to buy a wand sir" I call over the counter as the old man continues to shuffle through box after box.
"Of course you have!" The man exclaimed as he examined a final box and brings to to the counter. "Most people who come here do," he said as he threw me a joking wink.
The man opens the box to show a wand, a beautiful red wand that was carefully crafted and wonderfully detailed. I look up to the man, unsure of what I should do next.
"It's alright, hold it! give it a wave!" He smiled, bringing an energy to the room that didn't seem to be there before.
I pick the wand up carefully and wonder if I'm holding it right. My hands are sweaty and I start to get nervous. What am I supposed to do? How do I know if this is the wand I want? What if I make a mistake? All my thoughts boil up inside me and I finally wave the wand. around fifty boxes in the back of the shop shoot out of their shelves and nearly kill me and the old man. He gently grabs the wand out of my hand, puts it back in the box muttering
"no, no, not that one,"
We try wand after wand and nothing seems to work. boxes are all over the floor and there is shattered glass everywhere from all of my failed attempts at finding a wand. The old man assures me it's alright and not to worry, but I still feel like I should just give up.
The man must have seen this and comes around from behind the counter and puts his hand on my shoulder,
"It's quite alright dear, getting the right wand is a tricky process because it's not about the talent of the witch or wizard that makes them good with a wand, it's weather the wand chooses them. Not to worry, we'll find yours soon enough."
And with that, his eyes lit up and he quickly shuffles back behind the counter all the way to the back of the shop. When he returns, he holds a single box, cradling it with care.
"Try this one my dear, it's fourteen and a half inches, hornbeam wood with a unicorn hair core, and very solid. Give this one a wave, see how you like it,"
The moment my fingers made contact with the wand, it felt like a warm electricity was filling my body. The anxiety I had been feeling left completely and was replaced with a pleasing calm. A smile spread across my face, this was the one. I glanced over to my parents and gave them a thumbs up and they expelled a sigh of relief. I turned back to the man and he smiled and gave me another wink.
"See, I told you."
* * *
The next day was when I left for school, finding our way to King's cross was easy enough, but platform 9 3/4 was a little trickier. Most people we asked just stared and laughed at us, thinking we were just stupid tourists trying to have a bit of a joke. I felt a bit hopeless and totally out of place with my owl and strange luggage, but luckily we were able to find a girl who looked as out of place as I was, who was going to the platform as well. She told me she was a prefect for Gryffindor in last year, I didn't know what a "prefect for Gryffindor" meant, but I assumed that she was important and that she knew the ropes of this school.
"This is my first year, I'd never even heard of hogwarts until a few months ago." I confessed.
"Really?" the girl replied with surprise. "How can you not have heard about Hogwarts? It's practically one of the best schools in the world and-" she stopped short and then looked at me and my parents in understanding.
"Ah, you're a muggleborn aren't you?" She asked
"What's that?" I wasn't sure if I should feel insulted or not.
"A muggle is a person who doesn't have magic, your parents aren't magical, are they?"
my mom and dad shook their heads in reply
"Yeah, sometimes it just happens, a kid whose parents don't have magic are born and have abilities. It's not all that abnormal anymore, I'm sure you'll find loads of students just like you at school." She smiled at me.
"So your parents have magic?" I asked
"Yeah, my mum works for the ministry of magic, and my dad is a herbologist"
The girl stops in between platforms nine and ten and points to a brick post.
"Alright, the platform's just through here. I find it easier to just run at the entrance and then stop myself when I'm on the other side. I'll go first, then you, then your parents,"
My parents and I look at the girl with bewilderment as she starts to back up, then run full force into this brick post. I open my mouth to stop her right before she hits the wall, but she just passes right through. I turn to my parents who are just as confused as I am, so I decide to just go with it. I back up a few feet, and then start running towards to wall, thinking about how much it's going to hurt if this doesn't work. But it does, and before I know it, I'm in a completely new station, with a beautiful steam engine with the words "Hogwarts Express" on the front. I made it. My parents appear behind me holding hands, my mom still squealing and my dad laughing extremely hard.
"I don't know how we're going to get used to this Kayla," My dad laughs as he wipes a tear from his eye.
I found the girl I was with earlier who was now chatting with some other girls in a circle, I started to feel shy and out of place, but I mustered up my courage too walk over and tap her on the shoulder.
"Um, hi again. I just wanted to thank you for helping me out and... well, I never caught your name." I said nervously
"Oh of course, it's no problem at all! My name is Erika Harkins, thank you for asking. And might I ask what your name is?" Erika said while extending her hand to shake
"My name's Michaela, Michaela Kreidler. But most people just call me Kayla." I said while reciprocating the motion and exchanging a firm handshake with her.
"Well Kayla, I hope that I'll be seeing you in Gryffindor this year!" She smiled again and gave me a little wave before turning back to her friends.
It was just me and my parents again, we made our way down the platform past families saying goodbyes and the hellos of reunited friends. A whistle blew and someone yelled "All aboard!" and students made their way inside the carriages. I hugged my parents tightly and promised I'd write as soon as I could and that I'd be good and walked over to the train where one of the workers offered to help me with my luggage and directed me where to go. I walked down the isles and found that most of them were full of students already chatting with each other. I found one that was empty and decided to sit there and wonder if I'll be able to make any friends, or if this will just be a repeat of my school back home. I hear a rap on the glass door and a blonde girl peeks her head through.
"Excuse me, is there anyone sitting there?" she asks in a strong Northern English accent, pointing to the empty seat across from me.
"Oh.. no," I reply "It's yours if you want it,"
"Lovely, all the rest of the cars are full... and I don't really know anyone here " She extends her hand for me to shake " Lela Brightly by the way, nice to meetcha!"
I extend my hand and shake hers "Michaela Kreidler, but you can call me Kayla,"
"You sound American, are you an American Kayla?" Lela asked wile resting her chin in her hands and leaning towards me like she would be hanging onto my every word.
"Yep, kinda from the middle of nowhere part of America to be honest, not very exciting," I told her
"Are there loads of witches and wizards where you come from then?" She questioned
"I don't really know actually," I replied "I only just learned that I had magic, this one girl said I was a muggleborn,"
"Oooh," Lelas eyes went wide "How much do you know about Hogwarts and the wizarding world then?"
"Uh... well... Nothing..." my cheeks turned red from embarrasment
"Really? Well, you've come to the right girl! I can tell you everything you need to know! Lela Brightly at your service!" She gave me a little salute and asked me what I wanted to learn.
Lela spent the train ride explaining how Hogwarts works and how there are four houses, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin and told me all about each. I asked her which house she wanted to be in and she enthusiastically told me how it was her dream to be in Gryffindor because Harry Potter came from that house. When I asked her who he was she looked like she had been punched in the gut.
"You don't know who Harry Potter is?" Lela's mouth was hanging open in disbelief
"Well, you know... Muggleborn, I didn't grow up on this stuff like you did," I could feel the color returning to my cheeks, I had a lot to catch up on to make sure I didn't make a fool of myself in front of everyone else.
Apparently Harry Potter is one of the greatest wizards of all time, he basically was the face of a revolution against Lord Voldemort in the mid nineties. Lela explained everything to me and I was fascinated, I wanted to know everything about this man and how he defeated this dark wizard in the Battle of Hogwarts and how the school was practically destroyed.
"Since the battle in 1998, they've rebuilt the school and made it even better than it was before. It was amazing, hundreds of witches and wizards came together to repair Hogwarts so no one would miss out on their education. Even after the terrible battle, Hogwarts is considered one of the safest places on Earth," Lela smiled
"Wow, that's amazing! Hogwarts sounds fantastic" I sighed as I looked out the window, it was getting dark and I was eager to explore the halls of my new home.
Erika, the prefect, popped her head through our door.
"Oh, hello Kayla! We're nearly there, best get your school robes on now before we reach the station," Her smile showed off her perfect teeth which still glistened in the fading light.
* * *
After the long, drawn out procession of arriving at the station and crossing the lake that surrounded the school in lamplit boats, all of the first years found themselves waiting outside the great hall for the sorting ceremony to begin. The ages of the first years had a wide range of kids barely in their teens to some in their late twenties. Lela told me that before the Battle of Hogwarts, most people started their first year at age ten or eleven, but new laws passed from the ministry of magic to allow a more diverse group of people, such as "late bloomers" like us who didn't discover their magical abilities until their late teens.
The crowd of first years became silent as the doors to the great hall opened, we all filed in as quietly as we could as the students already sitting at their house tables looked as us, wondering who would be chosen to join their families. My heart was pounding because I too wondered whose house I would be sorted into. I wasn't particularly brave, cunning, or intelligent, and was I loyal? I didn't really know, I never really had anyone to be loyal for. What if they told me that this was all a mistake and I should just go home? I was so caught up in my thoughts that I hardly heard my name being called. The sudden jerk back into reality caused me to clumsily stumble over myself while I made my way to a three legged stool placed in front of the whole hall. My mind was racing as I sat on the stool and the Sorting hat was placed on my head.
I just want to be the best witch I can be.
The hat had barely landed on my head when it cried loudly for all of the Great Hall to hear.