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Head to Head by MagicalMiss7

Format: Novella
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 20,202
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Contains profanity, Mild violence, Scenes of a sexual nature

Genres: Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Albus, Dominique, Fred II, James (II), Lily (II), Lucy, Rose, Scorpius
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius

First Published: 06/26/2017
Last Chapter: 12/25/2018
Last Updated: 12/25/2018


Ella Chambers keeps to herself. She is an outsider, and she's okay with that. A competition between Ilvermorny and Hogwarts changes everything. Six champions. Five challenges. Elimination. One winner. This is Ella's chance to prove that she can be somebody extraordinary, and not even James Potter can get in her way.

Chapter 1: And We're Off
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Author's Note: Hello to anyone reading! This is my first attempt at writing a fanfic and it's a story I've been thinking about for years. Please go easy on my writing/storytelling skills - I'm still learning! Anyways, thank you so much for giving me a chance and I hope you like it :)

As I walked out for the last time, I looked over my shoulder to the castle I have called my home for the past six years. 

Okay deep breath Ella - you can do this.

Not wanting to get emotional about leaving this place I loved, I shuffled quickly past my fellow students so I could be the first one to see how we would be traveling to Hogwarts. 

I had been wondering for a while how we were supposed to manage moving ten barely of age students from Massachusetts to Scotland. Of course Apparition was out of the question, using this method for such long distances could lead to horrible splinching accidents, lost studnets, and could even mess up your brain somehow. Floo powder was mostly used in Europe, and would not be reliable to transport this amount of young students. Since we were still walking through the wilderness at this point I assumed no-maj transportation was out of the question.

After what felt like hours of walking through various thickets and across multiple fields, I saw it.

“Holy shit,” I heard a voice mutter behind me. I wasn’t the only one who stopped dead at the sight. There were various gasps and expletives muttered under my fellow students’ breaths. 

I knew enough about no-maj’s to know what an airplane was. I also knew enough to be terrified of a big metal tubes with wings, and to never, ever, want to ride in one. All ten of us were now clumped together, not daring to move any closer to the machine.

“Do you think it’s too late to drop out of this,” I whisper to my friend Katie, who just stood there, eyes wide with fear. 

Our headmaster rolled his eyes at “Keep it moving everyone, it’s not as scary as it looks, just keep walking and you’ll see.”

Slowly, our clump of safety began moving again, and when we neared it, I could see what it really was, and let me tell you, it was one of the most bizarre sights I had ever witnessed. There was definitely magic here.

It wasn’t a normal airplane, and at this point I was kind of wishing it was. The best was to describe it would be as a cross between a bird and a greenhouse. Instead of the sleek metal wings and engines of a no-maj airplane, there were literal bright red feathered wings sprouting from an enormous glass tube. The sun was shining brightly off the glass, leaving me in awe at our glittering mode of transportation.

Professor Thisbon, our headmaster, stood proudly in front of the airplane-bird-glass-death-contraption. “All aboard The Firefly!” he shouted, and conjured up a staircase leading up to it. He lead the group, serenely walking through the glass walls to enter the flying machine.

This was insane - what did I get myself into? 

I made up my stairs in line with the other students; It was my turn to walk through the glass and into the plane. Right when I thought I would hit glass, I easily walked through what felt like warm flowing water. I emerged, fully dry, Inside The Firefly where there were plenty of tables, cushy chairs, and beanbags for us to spend our ride in. It wasn’t so scary after all. 

David, Katie, and I claimed a corner and no sooner did we sit down in our respective beanbags, I felt us lift off the ground.

Katie nudged me after a new minutes of silence, and pointed out of the clear siding of the airplane, “This is the last we’re going to see of the castle for an entire year,” she said sadly. I watched through the glass as the castle became smaller as we few higher, until I couldn’t make it out anymore.

I smiled back at her, “Goodbye Ilvermorny, hello Hogwarts.” My chest tightened uncomfortably, and I had to blink back tears. My heart was aching because of how much I was going to miss this place. But, at the same time I could feel my heart beating fast because I knew this year would change everything. I couldn’t wait to get to Hogwarts.

 Hours passed, and I lay on my beanbag bored out of my mind. There was only so much a person could to to kill time while suspended in the middle of the air over a wide expanse of endless blue ocean. Katie and David were both passed out. It was weird I would be spending the entire year with only them to hold on to - I like both of them well enough, but we weren’t all that close.

They were both in my house at Ilvermorny, Horned Serpent, so we did see a good deal of each other. We instinctively stuck together now because we were the only three Horned Serpents who would be going to Hogwarts this year. They were the type of people I sat next to in classes, studied with, and sat around with in the common room. But they weren't the tpe of people I would invite to my house over breaks or go out of my way to hang out with. 

Katie Waverly was the definition of the girl net door. She had shoulder length blonde hair, and always had a smile plastered on her face. We used to be much closer friends than we are now. From first to third year we were pretty much inseparable.  But, as we got older I started realizing how different we were. She always wanted to be around people, and I liked being alone. She was always moving from one boy to the next, while I didn't care to try to go out of my way to flirt with and attempt to impress people.

It was exhausting being around someone so positive all the time, so I distanced myself from her as we got older. It wasn’t hard for her to make new friends, so I let her go. Of course hew new friends decided to stay for their final year at Ilvermorny though - they weren’t really the adventures type.

I was pretty surprised Katie did decide to come on this trip, I would have thought she would want to spend seventh year with her group of friends, basking in the glory of being the older, popular group everyone looked up to. 

David Calder on the other hand was quieter. He and I got along mainly because we were well matched academically. The only times we really spoke were when we studied together. He and I both understood academics without studying very much, so we spent most of our study sessions completing our homework and teaching ourselves material beyond what was taught in class.

I didn’t know much about him outside of school though, neither of us ever put in the effort to actually become friends. I look down at his tall lanky body leaned up against the glass, his dark brown hair resting on a pile of pillows, noticing the peaceful rhythm of his breathing as he slept.

I had never really found my “people” at school, which was fine, it just a little lonely. I was glad though, that they chose to come to Hogwarts for our seventh and final year at school. I wouldn’t have to experience an entirely new place with new people and a different culture completely alone.

Leaving was a tough choice for my whole class, but in the end, out of sixty people, only ten of us decided we wanted to take part in the historical event at Hogwarts this year. 

Tired and bored, I decide to spruce up a little bit, and make my way to the bathroom at the back of the plane. I open the door without knocking, thinking everybody else was asleep. I see a shirtless figure in there and I squeak, quickly shutting the door and flushing pink in embarrassment.

It had been a boy standing in the middle of the bathroom, shirtless, obviously in the middle of changing into his robes before we arrived. I’m still standing outside, waiting my turn when he walks out. I can feel my cheeks get hotter, because I realized who I accidentally walked in on - Chase Rester. Only the literal most perfect human being I’ve ever met in my life.

My eyes gazed over his perfectly tousled dirty blonde hair, then moved down his body and I remembered the chiseled figure I knew lay under his robes. I look back up at his face but linger a little too long on his bright blue eyes because he raises his eyebrows at me, waiting for me to say something.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t realize anyone was in there,” I quickly try to explain, “I should have knocked, I’m so stupid, I feel so ba- “

He cuts me off, “Ella it’s fine don’t worry about it.” He politely smiles at me, and walks away.

I had been obsessed (for lack of a more fitting word) with Chase Rester for the better part of two years. Like I said before, he is the epitome of perfect. Extremely smart, extremely hot, artistic, and nice, I was not alone with my feelings for Chase - the entire female population was obsessed. He and I sat next to each other in Herbology at the beginning of fifth year, and since then have formed a friendly "aquaintence-ship", as I like to call it. 

We chat in class, and that’s pretty much the extent that we interact. I wasn't forward enough to try and become anything more than that with him; I would just have to be content with the little interaction I had and hope that someday he would have an epiphany and realize he had been in love with me this whole time. It’s a little far-fetched, but I could dream right?

I inwardly kick myself for embarrassing myself in from of him, and walk into the now empty bathroom.

I wanted to look at least presentable when I got there, first impressions were incredibly important to me. I examine my reflection in the mirror. The hours of travel had worn my makeup somewhat so I reapply “Matilda’s Magical Skin Perfecting Serum” all over my face. My skin instantly became smooth and soft. That was much better.

I tuck my long, waist length, wavy brown hair behind my ear. I smooth my red and blue Ilvermorny robes, and more closely examine my reflection. I stand at a whopping five feet tall and get seemingly paler every year, but that may be because I spend increasing amounts of time inside reading and studying.

I was relatively slim, but I wouldn’t classify myself as skinny - I definitely wasn’t as toned as Katie, I envied how perfect her body was. I look into my boring brown eyes, and all I can think is “average”. I was just a very average looking girl, and I had accepted it at this point, there was no use in trying to pretend any differently.

Finally done staring at myself in the mirror I walk out of the bathroom. However, instead of the room full of bored, sleepy teenagers I had left, everyone was now awake and buzzing with excitement. I dash the side of the plane where everyone was standing and find David and Katie. 

Katie pulls me in and nearly shouts, “Look Ella, we’re here - isn’t it amazing?” And amazing it was. Perched on a great cliff was a castle more foreboding than out own - this was it, this was Hogwarts.

I squeezed David’s arm, suddenly feeling very aware of how far I’ve traveled, and how foreign I felt here. I was surprised when he slung his arm around me and rested his head easily on top of mine.

"We'll be fine," he tried reassuring me. But, as we descended, my heart was pounding so hard I could hear it and feel it in my brain, and all I could feel was panic. 

Chapter 2: First Impressions Are Everything, Right?
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Note: Chapter 2 is here!! The story is moving a little slowly, but I don't even think anyone is reading at this point except for me so slow is okay ;) If you happen do be a person besides me reading this story thank you - and I know it's starting out slow but I just want to have everything set up and everything introduced hope you like it!

 “Let’s welcome our guests who travelled all the way from the United States of America, these are the studnets of Ilvermony School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” I heard a female voice announce.

The large oak doors to the Hogwarts great hall bursted open, revealing four long tables filled with students - and every student was looking at us. The sound of applause echoed through the hall, along with the muttering and whispering of the Hogwarts studnets to each other. 

I walked through the middle aisle with the rest of the Ilvermorny students in single file led by Professor Thisbon, feeling every single person in the room looking at me. So naturally, I was trying to avoid the attention by looking at the floor.

I was very easily intimidated, especially by large groups of new people. 

Come on, show some confidence, first impressions are everything remember? These are students just like you, there’s no reason to be intimidated.

I lift my head up and try to walk as confidently as I can in a situation where I felt so exposed. I look around the room taking in the atmosphere and the people I was stuck with for the next school year. Most of the students are sizing us up, eyes jumping from one student to the next down the line. 

There was one boy who wasn’t looking at anybody else though, the boy with the messy auburn hair and Gryffindor robes has his gaze fixed on me. I make eye contact with him, raising my eyebrows challengingly. He only narrowed his eyes at me. Before I could think anything of it, or respond it any way, I felt the line stop, and the room went silent. 

The same voice from before spoke to us, “Students, thank you for joining us for this school year, we are very much looking forward to having you be a part of our community. And Professor Thisbon, thank you for brining them here and joining us as well,” the voice belonged to a very old looking witch in bright sapphire robes, with a thin lipped mouth, and did not look like somebody I would want to cross. I assumed this was the Hogwarts headmistress. 

Before she spoke again she conjured a similar, but much smaller version of one of the house tables with a flourish of her wand, placing it down gently in the middle of the hall  tables, with two house tables on each side of it. 

“Please have a seat,” she instructed us. After the few moments it took us to settle in, I looked back to the front of the hall where Professor Thisbon now joined the headmistress. 

“It’s definitely too late to turn back now,” Katie whispered in my ear, I could only grunt in agreement. This was the most intimidated I had ever felt; thrown into a room on complete strangers in a  foreign country, all eyes on us.

“Now that we’ve all settled in,” the headmistress continued, “I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Professor McGonagall, and I am the headmistress of Hogwarts.” I was right in my assumption.

Professor Thisbon took his turn, “I am Professor Thisbon, and I am the headmaster of Ilvermorny - thank you so much for having us.” He gave the room a warm smile, which I saw a few students return. I smiled appreciatively back at my headmaster as well, a middle aged man with waist length jet black hair, wearing sparking turquoise robes. 

Professor Thisbon radiated warmth, and people could just tell he was a genuinely nice person. I really admired the way he always found a way to relate back to the students. He was the type of authority figure who never really got angry with us, and even better, he really cared about our learning. He was known throughout the castle for popping into our lessons at random and trying to make them more “creative” and in his words, “less boring”. 

The results of his meddling included, but are not limited to, entire classes acting out historical scenes in full costume, throwing random ingredients into a cauldron just “to see what happens”, and we once even had a “creature race” where students each chose one magical creature and raced them around the grounds.

“Now that we’re all friends,” McGonagall nods at Thisbon with a hint of a smile, “ we can get down to business.”

David mutters under his breath, “Finally, some details about what we’re doing here.” I nod in agreement. 

She went on, “I know you all must be very curious about the event we have introduced this year. All you know is what we have told you; that this year there will be a competition between the students of Ilvermorny and Hogwarts.”

She was right, that was all the information we had received before agreeing to spend our entire year here. We knew some students from our school would be selected to compete in a some type of tournament against Hogwarts, and I guess we were finally going to get some answers as to what this competition would be.

“This competition has been named the Valor Championship. Six contenders will be selected, three from each school. There will be five tasks throughout the year for our contenders,” she paused, “but after each event one student will be eliminated from the competition, leaving only one winner.” 

This realization caused the hall to break out in whispers conversations. It did seem harsh, eliminating someone because they may have just messed up one event?

Thisbon held up his hand to the students, effectively quieting them down, “students entering must be in their seventh year of school, and must commit to participating throughout the entire competition.” More whispers followed, but this requirement seemed more reasonable. 

McGonagall picked up, “There will be no need for students to submit themselves beforehand to be selected to compete. They must only show up and be ready to participate in the selection ceremony in one weeks time, on October first,” She paused, but this time nobody spoke, we could tell the next bit would be more serious.

“As you all well know, before the Great War, the Triwizard Tournament was held here, and only led to disaster, chaos, and death.” I noticed the Gryffindor from before tense up at these words, but I didn’t think anything of it. 

Of course everybody in this room knew about what happened at the triwizard tournament years previously, even in the United States we were taught about the rise and fall of the most dangerous dark wizard in wizarding history. The room stayed silent.

“Beaxbatons and Durmstrang have refused to participate in such an event again, as to why there are now only two competing schools. However, we believe that we have learned from the mistakes made last time.” She turned to Thisbon, signaling him to take over. 

“We want to integrate our students as much as possible into the Hogwarts way of life,” he explained, shifting the tone from serious to informational. I knew what was coming, Thisbon already explained the cooperative measures they were taking to promote camaraderie between the schools.

“This means that the Ilvermorny students will be joining their fellow seventh year Hogwarts students in lessons, at meals, and in each others’ social lives,” the Hogwarts students seemed confused, as they were all looking back and forth from our table to their own peers. 

“The Ilvermorny students will move in to the Hogwarts dorms after deciding which house they want to live with - this decision will occur after the first challenge, after they get to know the Hogwarts students and houses better.”

This statement was met by shouts of protest from the Hogwarts students. I heard different variations of, “They get to choose their house?” and “I don’t want strangers living in my room!” echo around the hall. 

I sighed, I guess the Hogwarts students thought we were crazy foreigners or something. I was hoping they would be excited to have us here, but I guess I was too optimistic.

I cold tell this long-winded duet of a speech was coming to an end. “We have very high hopes for the Valor Championship, and we hope that you, as students will help us to meet these expectations. Goodnight everyone, and remember, we are stronger together,” McGonagall finished. 

The Hogwarts students made their way out of the great hall, but our table stayed in our seats. I knew we would be moving in with the specific houses after the first challenge, but where were we supposed to go now? The rest of the table seemed to be thinking along these same lines - everybody looked confused. 

I nudge Katie, “Are we supposed to know where we’re supposed to go right now?”

She shrugged, “Maybe someone will show us the way?” 

I looked around for anyone from Hogwarts still around, but the great hall looked completely empty except for the ten of us, even Professor Thisbon had left us. Everyone was wondering the same thing, we all had no idea where to go. 

“What an amazing start to the year,” I say sarcastically, “I feel so welcome here.” 

Katie giggles at my comment. I’m about to continue my frustrated rant, but I stop when we I see a redhead sprint into the great hall. We all watch her approach us. She stopped when she got closer. She tried to talk to us while trying to catch her breath.

“So - sorry - forgot - supposed - to - show - where - staying,” she panted. We all just kind of stared at her, waiting for her to say something else. She didn’t seem bothered by the stares and took a few breaths, seeming to regain her voice. 

“Hi everyone, my name is Rose Weasley and I am a fifth year Gryffindor prefect,” So this was one of the famous Weasleys. I was fascinated by historical dark wizards, and read everything I could get my hands on about Voldemort and the British wizarding wars. I felt somewhat starstruck seeing the daughter of two of the most heroic wizards in history.

She continued with more confidence now, “I’m here to show you where you’ll be staying for the next few weeks.”

“Took you long enough to get here,” David muttered. Her face reddened at the comment and she threw a dangerous look towards David before continuing.

“Follow me to the southeast tower, and please try to remember the way to get there, this castle is really confusing and I don’t want you lot wandering around like first years.”

And I did feel like we were first years again. As Rose led us through the castle she pointed out various classrooms, (“That’’s the staircase you’ll go down to reach the Potions dungeon classroom”), who the paintings were, (“Don’t mind Sir Cadogen, he’ll always try to get you to hang around and ‘fight’ or go on an ‘adventure’”), until eventually we stopped at a painting of a unicorn.

“This is the hidden entrance to your temporary dormitories,” Rose explained, “The password is ‘Viatorem’, you will not be let in without the password. It would be a shame,” she looked pointedly at David as he said this, “if someone got locked out and had to sleep in the corridor.” His eyes widened, but he had enough sense to keep quiet.

She addressed us as a group again, “McGonagall wanted me to pass on the message that you will receive your course schedules tomorrow at breakfast,” She smiled warmly at us and said, “welcome to Hogwarts,” I felt like she actually meant it. 

Chapter 3: The Unforgivable Curses
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Author's Note: It has definetely taken me way too long to post this chapter, but better late than never right? Thank you to everyone who's left a review, I really do appreciate that people are atcually taking the time to read my story, and that y'all actually like it!! I'll try to be better about updating in the future :)

 The next morning Katie and I walked to breakfast, only getting lost twice on the way down. Our table was still in the middle of the great hall, which I was relieved about. It would have been too overwhelming to choose where to sit amongst the Hogwarts students on our first day here. It was nice to stick with who I was familiar with for now. 

We plopped down and joined the other three people already at the table. It seemed the Thunderbird boys had beat us to breakfast. This group included the love of my life Chase Rester, along with his friends Evan Redbone and Liam King. 

We all said our hellos, and of course when Chase said hi to me I felt the butterflies in my stomach flutter. I noticed that some of the Hogwarts girls sitting at their tables were eyeing Chase too. 

It was only a matter of time before he became the heartthrob of Hogwarts. The universe hated me, and as if it wasn’t enough for me to compete against the entirety of Ilvermorny for him, now I had to go against all of Hogwarts too. 

I start piling food on to my plate, choosing a selection of scrambled eggs, toast, and potatoes. Just as I start eating, David pops down next to me.

“Have they passed out the schedules yet?” He asked as he started filling his own plate with heaps of eggs and too many strips of bacon to count.

I swallowed my mouthful, “Not yet, but they said they would be coming around soon.”

Right as these words left my mouth a friendly looking male professor showed up at the front of our table.

“Er - hello,” he started rather awkwardly, I guess we didn’t seem like the most welcoming group at the moment, “my name in Professor Longbottom and I am head of Gryffindor house, and I’m going to pass out your schedules now.”

Sabrina Torres, a Pugwudgie, was closest to Professor Longbottom so he started with her. I continued eating as he walked from student to student until he reached my spot. 

“Hello,” he greeted me, “what’s your name?”

“Ella Chambers,” he snapped to attention when he heard my name, giving me a look of scrutiny but not saying anything about it.

He tapped his wand on an empty slip of parchment and my new schedule appeared.

“Here you go,” he handed me the slip, “let me know if you have any questions,” he gave me one last inquisitive look, smiled, and turned his attention to Katie who was sitting to my right.

I was used to people judging me by my name, but I was glad Professor Longbottom didn’t say anything or ask me any questions. I was used to the recognition, but I hated the attention. I had hoped that maybe the infamy associated with the Chambers name wouldn’t have made it’s way all the way here. I guess I was mistaken.

Looking down at my schedule, I saw that I was taking the same classes as I did at Ilvermorny. Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Ancient Runes, and Charms. Today started with Transfiguration, then Defense, Care of Magical Creatures, and a free period at the end of the day.

“What do you have?” I look at Katie to see what her schedule looks like. It looked the same as mine except instead of Ancient Runes she took Arithmancy. 

“Okay good,” I said, relieved. “We won’t be alone on our first day.” It was weird that I was already depending on Katie again. I thought that when I came here I would be more independent, as I had learned to be at Ilvermorny. But I was falling back into old patters.

“Thank God,” she agreed, “come on, let’s start heading to Transfiguration, I don’t want to walk in late because we got lost.” She moved to stand up, and I followed her lead.

“Well at least we would make a grand entrance,” I joked. As we were walking out of the great hall I felt someone watching me. I turn around and see that same auburn haired boy from the night before staring at me. I shrug it off and laugh as Katie comes up with more ways that we could embarrass ourselves on our first day of classes.

We sat through our first Transfiguration lesson, and it didn’t seem like it would be any different than the classes at Ilvermorny. I also had Ancient Runes which at NEWT level mostly ended up being Ravenclaws, who seemed like the type of people I could get along with. For the last class of the day, we were now headed to Defense Against the Dark Arts, which I learned we would have with the Gryffindors. 

Katie and I find a table in the back of our Defense classroom, which was quickly filling up. I see the weird staring boy walk in while animately talking to a tall, be-freckled boy with light brown skin. I noticed the Gryffindor girls all eyeing the boys and smiling at each other. 

One particular girl with long blonde hair tied up in a bouncy, high ponytail looked at her friend and smirked. She determinedly stood up and strutted over to the front desk where the boys had ended up sitting down at. 

I watched her with interest, seeing what would happen and maybe figuring out who this mysterious boy was. 

She hopped on to the front desk, and perched herself on the side so that she was mostly facing the auburn haired boy. She touched his shoulder and started talking to him. I slightly leaned forward and strained to hear what they were saying from my position in the back. 

I could only catch snippets of the conversation. I think she asked him about the Gryffindor quidditch teams chances this year - he was on the quidditch team, noted - and she obviously did not care about the subject of the conversation at all. 

Her intentions were clear, even to me who didn’t know her at all. She was flirting with him so hard it was a little painful to watch. The thing was though, the boy seemed to be encouraging her.

A woman walked in to the classroom and all the Hogwarts students snapped to attention, quieted down, and the very friendly girl hurried back to her seat. 

“Good to see everyone again,” she said briskly, “and nice to see some new faces. My name is Professor Restoria and I have been teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts here at Hogwarts for ten years now.”

She started to pace through the desks and continued, “As the Hogwarts students very well know, I do not tolerate side conversations, cheating, or inadequacy in this course. You are here because you are smart enough to be here,” she stopped at the front of the room, “so act like it.”

Professor Restoria reminded me of a younger version of McGonagall; I didn’t know yet if that was a bad or good thing. She started writing on the board, it seemed like the introductory lecture was done with. When she stepped back I saw that she had written in bold letters:


“Now, I know we have reviewed the basics about the unforgivable curses. At Hogwarts we introduced the subject the fourth year,” she paused and asked, “when did the rest of you learn about them?”

“In third year,” Katie responded, glancing at me and quickly diverting her attention back to Professor Restoria. 

Third year was the year Katie started treating me differently, like she was better than me. She and I both knew why. 

“So we all have equal knowledge on the subject, excellent. Today, we delve further into understanding these curses, and better yet we will start trying to learn the best ways to fight against them”

Stare-boy raised his hand. From what I could tell, he didn’t seem like the type to participate in class much, so this was a surprise. Rester seemed to be a little surprised too.

“Yes, Mr. Potter?”

My eyes widened in realization - of course he was a Potter. I assume that it was James Potter, Harry Potter’s oldest son. It made sense now why he had been so scrutinizing since my arrival.

He failed to restrain the anger in his voice when he spoke, “What about people who want to use the spells instead of trying to defend them? Should we even be teaching them this information at all?” He looked back at me accusingly at this point, “History repeats itself, doesn't it?” 

It was weird to me how that this aggressive, judgemntal asshole was the same person as the smiling, carefree boy from the begining of class.

Everyone in the room was looking at me suspiciously, Katie was looking pointedly down at the table, and the room was quiet in anticipation for only a moment. Professor Restoria gave me one fleeting look, and addressed the class.

“Now is not the time to question beliefs and allegiances Mr. Potter,” He looked like he was about to interrupt her, but she continued, “This is a school, and since I am a teacher and you are my students, I will tech every single one of you and every single one of you will learn.”

She looked at James with such sternness, I could tell that doing anything but staying silent would have ended with more punishment than it was worth. 

“Now, if there are no more questions - we can begin.”

“Wizarding laws change all around the world. Since we are lucky enough to have some wizards here with a different government than ours, there are different prohibitions when it comes to spells and curses. In America, there are not three, but how many unforgivable curses?”

The Hogwarts students all looked confused, but every single Ilvermorny student raised their hand, including me. 

“Miss - "?


I caught a brief flash of something on her eyes before she spoke my name again, "Aright, Miss Chambers?"

I answer, “There are four unforgivable curses in America.” 

“Correct, take five points for - well - you don’t have a house yet, so take five points to whichever house you decide to join later on.” 

“And what are the four unforgivable curses in America?” She directed the question at me this time. 

I sat up a little straighter as I delivered this response, “The first three are the same as here; Imperius, Cruciatus, and Avada Kedavra, but in recent history we added a fourth,” I took a deep breath, “the Edeon curse.”

“Take another five points Miss Chambers. Can any of my Hogwarts students tell me exactly what the Edeon curse does?” She challenged her own students this time, I was relieved she didn’t ask me this one. 

James spoke without being called on and looked directly at me when he described what the curse did, “It wipes your memory, like nothing ever happened. You can’t make new memories and you can’t remember anything from before it was cast.”

Now, I look down, training my eyes on my tightly curled fists under the table, rather than watch the classroom scene unfold.

“Potter don’t speak out of turn,” she reprimanded, “but, you are right. The Edeon curse was invented 30 years ago, and is essentially the most powerful memory charm ever created. It curses the human brain. You forget everything you’ve ever known and you cannot learn anything new. A person who has been cast with the Edeon curse lives an empty existence, a pitiful life. And it’s almost irreversible - the only way for a person to regain themselves is for the original caster to lift the curse, which rarely, if ever, happens.” 

The more she explains the more focused I become on my fists. This was third year all over again.

I knew James was getting angrier, and I knew another comment was coming, and I knew he thought I deserved to be known for what my family had done.

His voice was strangely calm and casual when it came, “Yeah, and her father invented it,” He gestured towards me at his last words. 

The Hogwarts students narrowed there eyes at me, and I even heard a few gasps. Restoria expressionlessly looked between James and me, seeing how this would play out. The Ilvermorny students just looked uneasy, this bombshell has been dropped on them four years prior, and although they had yet to completely accept me, it was better to be treated like nothing at all than to be hated for something you didn’t do.

I had been keeping calm this entire class, knowing this is where it would end. I knew my father sins were not mine. I knew who I was, and I shouldn’t have to defend myself in front of a room of strangers. 

I stood up and spoke with as much confidence as I could muster, “Yes, my father did invent this terrible curse, and he is in prison for it. I on the other hand, did not, invent such a curse, nor have I ever used it.” I glared back at James, “I believe you should judge me based on who I am, not for who my father is and what he’s done.” 

David gave me a nod of appreciation, I look at Katie and she still has her gaze firmly glued to the desk. I stay standing, daring anybody to try and blame me for what he had done. This time I would stand up for myself. 

"That's enought for today," Restoria intervened, before it could go any further, "class dismissed."


Chapter 4: A Fight and A Friend
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This whole situation was uncalled for and unfair. I hadn’t seen my father since I was six. I have never had even a slight desire to learn dark magic. I resent his crimes probably more than the general public, and I was furious at James Potter for blaming my father’s atrocities on me in front of a classroom full of strangers who happened to be his friends.

I stormed out of the classroom and confronted James in the Corridor.

“How dare you insult me and accuse me like that - you don’t even know me,” I spat at him. The whole class was filing to of the classroom and gathering around us to witness the drama.

“I know enough,” He shot back, “My father has been fighting his entire life to stop people like your dad. People should know where you come from.”

I couldn’t believe a person could be so judgmental and hateful towards a person he didn’t know at all. I knew from experience though, that I couldn’t force a person to change their mind, especially by losing my temper.

“I am nothing like him,” I heard my voice start to rise, so I took a breath, and trying to stay calm, I continued, “If you had just asked me about it rather than unfairly accuse me of using dark magic, maybe you would have a different, more honest impression of me.”

He looked slightly taken aback, I could tell that he had expected me to let my temper get the better of me, and he probably hadn’t expected my words to make so much sense to him - take that James Potter.

He seemed to choose his next words very carefully, “Maybe things are different where you live, in America, but here, family is important, and he is in your blood. I don’t care what you have to say.” He marched off, closely followed by his freckled friend.

The friend looked uneasy and glanced back at me as he followed Potter away. He, at least, didn’t seem to share the same prejudices as his friend.

Now standing alone, I look around a realize quite a crowd had formed. Everyone was murmuring amongst themselves now that the argument was over. How did I manage to attract so much attention?

At Ilvermorny I was almost invisible, and of course my first day at Hogwarts I become the center of attention, and make an enemy - who just happens to be the son on a wizard I idolize.

The crowd was dispersing, I didn’t see a familiar face, and I had no idea where to go, as this was my last class of the day. I look around again, craning my back trying to find anybody I knew, when I heard a British accented voice directly behind me. I turned around to face him.

“That was quite a show,” he said with a smirk. The boy very attractive in his Slytherin green robes, tall with white blonde hair that fell elegantly over his gray eyes. He put out a hand, “I’m Scorpios Malfoy.”

I put out my hand to meet his, “I’m Ella Chambers, but if you saw what just happened here I’m assuming you already knew that.” 

I recognized the Malfoy name from when I was reading about the wizarding wars of Britain. His family were part of Voldemort’s inner circle, and helped him rise to power. It seemed he had as much to be ashamed of as I did.

He smiled at me, “That’s just how James Potter is, he treats me like scum as well. My family - well, they’re not the type of people I’m proud of. Potter doesn’t care though, he’s too full of himself to see anything from somebody else’s perspective. Eventually he’ll leave you alone. At this point he just glares at me every once in a while.”

I smiled back at him. I was relieved it was not only me who was singled out by James Potter, but fury and frustration at him still coursed through me. 

“So where are all the Americans staying before you choose your houses?” He asked, changing the subject.

“In temporary dorms in the southeast tower,” I responded, glad for the change. I did not want to dwell on the fight; I knew the more I thought about it the angrier I would become.

“I can walk you back if you want, the castle can be confusing at first, but once you get used to it it’s not so bad.” He offered.

I nodded and we started walking. “So what year are you?” I asked.

“Sixth year, I wish I was seventh though so I could enter the Valor Championship,” he explained wistfully, “You’re going to enter right?”

I hadn’t really talked about this subject with anybody yet, not even David or Katie. The big question at home was if we were going to Hogwarts, not if we would actually enter the tournament. 

“I think so,” I started, deciding that Scorpious seemed like a person I could talk to, “but honestly I’m terrified.”

He chuckled, “That’s healthy, it’s good to feel a little scared. You may not even be ‘chosen’,” he put air quotes around the last word, as we did not yet know how the champions would be selected.

“I probably won’t be, but -“ I paused and looked at him, revealing how scared I actually was, “what if I am chosen? I don’t think I’m ready…” I said softly.

He didn’t say anything immediately. I felt like I had said the wrong thing. This is not the type of conversation you have with a person you just met; bearing to him your most prominent fears.

“Well, then you’ll just have to suck it up and do it,” he said bluntly, “and if you do get chosen -“ at this point he stopped walking, “you now have me as a friend, so you’ll be okay.” He smirked at me again, and walked back towards the stairs.

I realized we were at my dormitory, and I couldn’t help but let a huge smile splay across my face. I found someone at this school who didn’t judge me for who my father was, and even better, he said he was my friend. 

Author's Note: Well, there you have it! This is how James' and Ella's relationship starts off! Let me know what you thought of their fight, and what you think will happen with their relationship! 

Please keep reading and reviewing - I get so excited when I see a review or when i see how many reads I have on my story (it's over 200!!) So thanks for taking an interest in my writing I'll try to keep updating as quickly as possible

Chapter 5: The Wotters
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Author's Note: Sorry this is going to be another short chapter, and if I'm being honest not one of the more interesting ones. But, it is important!! The story will pick up very very soon! Please keep reading and reviewing :)

The rest of the week went by without much incident. The Hogwarts students weren’t particularly friendly or particularly mean to me. I received a few uneasy looks here and there, but I was adjusting to my new routine. 

Katie had begun to drift away from me, as I knew she would, and started sitting with the bouncy-haired Gryffindor girl in Defense classes and at meals. I learned the girl’s name was Vanessa Wood. Vanessa was Hogwarts’s version Katie; the two seemed made for each other. Both very concerned with the “holy trinity” of boys, partying, and popularity. 

It seemed my only friend left from Ilvermorny was David, who only sat with me in the classes we shared, and disappeared during every minute of spare time we had. Chase was constantly being fawned over by the Hogwarts girls, sitting at a different house table each day complete with a fan club at each one. 

The Ilvermorny students were slowly finding their place at Hogwarts, and while they were integrating, I was drifting farther outside. My only friend was Scorpious. Nobody else really tried to talk to me, I think James had too strong of a hold on the school for people to go out of their way to be nice to a person he so adamantly hated. 

As for James, his outburst at me seemed to have had no effect on his reign over Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I had been watching him throughout the week. He was always with that freckled boy, always laughing. Vanessa was not the only girl who was interested in him either. Whenever he walked past girls in the halls, they would smile, wink, or playfully touch his arm. I even noticed Katie trying to sit next to him one day at breakfast. 

He walked around the castle like he deserved to be treated the way he was, with girls falling all over him. Like he had the God-given right to own the school. I seemed to be the only person that saw through him. I saw the judgmental asshole I knew he could become. 

Scorpious and I had made plans to meet in the library to study one afternoon. I was waiting for him; I checked my watch. We were supposed to meet at 4, it read 4:07. Annoyed, I looked around, hoping to see him walking in. 

A minute later, I saw him lazily stroll into the library, but not alone. He was with a Slytherin boy slightly shorter than him, with jet black hair and as he got closer, I noticed his bright green eyes. 

The two boys sat across from me at my otherwise vacant table. 

“Hey Ella,” Scorpious greeted as he sat down, “I wanted you to meet my best friend Albus - Albus Potter.”

Albus, not seated directly across from me, looked at me cautiously, as if waiting for me to hit him. I just looked at him appraisingly, willing him to speak. Scorpious just looked amused.

“Er, hi Ella,” he started, feeling uncomfortable, “I heard about you and my brother James, and I know he can be a bit - well - a right git if I’m being honest.”

I was a little surprised at his lack of loyalty towards his brother, but it did make sense. With him being a Slytherin, and best friends with someone who James has a well-known grudge against, I’m sure it hadn’t been easy for Albus with James as a brother.

I smiled at Albus and my gaze softened, “Nice to meet you Albus,” he looked relieved. 

“I thought it might help you piss off James a little if you became friends with his brother,” Scorpious smirked, I laughed, Albus just rolled his eyes.

“How many of you are there even at this school? Potter’s I mean.” I directed my question at Albus. I should know what I was up against. 

“Here we go,” said Scorpious under his breath.

Albus scoffed, amused at Scorpious’ reaction, but started explaining anyway. 

“Well there are three Potters,” he held up three fingers, “James, me, and our younger sister Lily. She's a third year Gryffindor.”

I interrupted him, “That’s it? I felt like there were more of you..”

Scorpious looked at me with amusement in his eyes, “Oh, how naive - just wait.”

Thank you Scorpious, now, if I could continue,” he gave me an accusing look.

“Sorry,” I mumbled.

“Okay. So there are the three Potters. But there are so many more Weasleys, who we all happen to be related to. Try to keep up. Molly and Lucy are sisters, Molly is a fifth year Hufflepuff, Lucy is in second year and in Ravenclaw. Then there’s Fred and Roxanne, both in Gryffindor. Roxanne is in fourth year and Fred is in seventh - he and James are practically inseparable.”

So that was the freckled boy glued to Potter’s side. I thought Albus had finished but apparently there were more. Albus was on a roll.

“Can’t forget about Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione’s kids; Hugo is a third year Hufflepuff, and Rose is in my year and a Gryffindor. She’s also my best friend, tied with Scorp of course.” Scorpious fake gagged at Rose’s name; I guess he didn’t get along with everyone in Albus’ family. 

Albus just rolled his eyes at his best friend’s reaction. 

“Last there’s Louis and Dominique - well and Victorie, but she graduated already.  Louis is a third year Hufflepuff, and Dom is in your year and in Ravenclaw.” He finished proudly.

“Oh, is that all?” I ask, full of sarcasm. 

Scorpious and Albus both laugh, and Albus responds, “Yeah, I know there are a lot of us, but you won’t have a problem with anyone else. James is the one you have to watch out for.”

At this statement Scorpious cuts in, “Well you’ll have to watch out for Rose Weasley too you know,” he spoke her name with contempt, “that she devil has hated me for absolutely no reason since first year. You might be next.”

“Shut it Scorpious,” Albus shot Scorpious a dirty look, “and you know she has eyes of hatred only for you.”

Scorpious rolled his eyes, “Whatever Albus, you know she has it out for me because of my dad.”

“Oh, like you don’t have it out for her too? And you know she doesn’t actually care about your dad she just says that stuff to piss you off.”

She had seemed perfectly nice when she had showed us to our dorms. I was sure this wasn’t the first time they were having this conversation. Albus seemed to be reciting lines from a script and Scorpious seemed to be getting more riled up the more he talked about her.

“Okay Albus what about that time she blamed me for setting her hair on fire in third year - I was in detention for a month!

“But, Scorp, you did set her hair on fire!”

“She didn’t have to tell on me though,” Scorpious said, trying to divert all blame onto her. 

“How about when she slipped me a love potion and I ended up asking McGonagall to Hogsmeade last year?” He challenged, changing the subject.

Laughing, Albus responded, “Mate, you have to admit that was hilarious.”

“It was embarrassing!” Scorpious grumpily tried to correct him.

Still laughing Albus look at Scorpious, “Look, that’s just what you two do. You fight and you challenge each other. And you both like it so you should just stop pretending to be enemies - it would make my life so much easier.”

“I don’t like her Al,” Scorpious crossed his arms defiantly.

“Whatever you sa-ay,” Albus mocked in a sing-song voice. Scorpious just glared back. 

“Soooo,” I looked awkwardly between the two, “are we going to sit around discussing more wizarding genealogy and our weird messy relationships with each other’s cousins, or are we actually going to get any studying done?”

Albus smirked and Scorpious just shrugged stubbornly, but they both finally looked down and opened their books.


Chapter 6: The Chosen Ones
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Hello everybody! Sorry it's been soooooo long since I updated BUT I have a good reason. I did have a little bit on writers block, but more importantly I have other exciting things going on in my life! I'm now studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland where JKR, the queen herself, wrote most of the Harry Potter books! So now that I'm here and settled, maybe I can channel some of her talent and creativity into my writing, and hopefully get more chapters out faster :) Thanks for being patient with me, and hope you like this chapter (and if you do please review!)

I had been dreading this day. I willed the time to pass by slower, but it only sped up. I have been at Hogwarts for one week, which meant that today the competitors would be chosen for the Valor Championship.

I woke up easily, before the rest of the Ilvermorny girls. The dorm was quiet and the sun had just started peeking out from behind the horizon. I quietly walked to the bathroom.

My hair was messier than usual, probably because I had been tossing and turning in my sleep all night. I looked determinedly at myself in the mirror - I decided I needed a pep talk, and who better to give it to me than myself?

I looked at myself sternly in the mirror, “Ella, you have to enter. You came all the way here from fucking Massachusetts, don’t let it be for nothing. You probably won’t even be chosen anyways so you’re getting freaked out over nothing. You don’t have to stay invisible.”

There was a knock at the door and I snapped to attention, hoping whoever it was hadn’t heard me talking to myself.

“Sorry, just a minute!”

I scrambled to throw my hair into a messy ponytail. I splashed some water on my face, and opened the door. A very tired looking Katie was waiting on the other side. I looked at her uneasily.

“Good morning Katie?” It came out more like a question than a greeting.

Looking at anything but me, she awkwardly said, “Morning,” then proceeded to scurry into the bathroom.

Quickly closing the for behind her, we didn’t have a chance to actually speak. Of course she did this purposely, as she had been avoiding me all week. 

Back in the dorm, the other girls were waking up. Not wanting to deal with the inevitable excitement and chatter of the day quite yet, I pulled on my robes silently and made my way downstairs for an early breakfast. 

Most of this week I had been eating meals with Scorpious and Albus. Today I sat alone, barely able to get down a piece of toast. I didn’t want to talk to anyone today, it would only stress me out more. The worst part was not knowing how the champions would be selected; would we have to duel? Would we have our talents tested already? Or would it be as simple as a sorting ceremony? 

The great hall was quickly filling up. The air of anticipation throughout the whole school was obvious. The younger students were excited to see who would be chosen and what the competition would entail; the seventh years were excited but in a different respect. 

I saw Katie and Vanessa sitting closely with their heads together, probably discussing which boys they hoped would be selected. I look towards the Slytherin table, where Albus is animately explaining something to Scorpious. They both see me and give me enthusiastic waves. 

Potter was sitting alone at the Gryffindor table. I would have expected him to be bragging about how he was sure to be chosen, loudly and with an audience, but instead he had nobody around him, not even Fred. Interesting. 

Once the entire school was in the Great Hall and nearly everyone had finished eating, McGonagall stood up and the food immediately vanished. Professor Thisbon gracefully rose from his own seat at the staff table and accompanied McGonagall in addressing the students. 

“We know we did not give you all very much information regarding the Valor Championship,” McGonagall took the lead, “and we won’t be able to tell you everything until our champions are chosen. What I can tell you all now is the winning prize of this competition.”

Everyone quieted down, we were all curious as to what the elusive prize was for the Valor Champion. The school had been buzzing all week with guesses and ideas about the prize. Scorpious realistically guessed it would just be gold, Albus hoped it would be a dragon.

“The winner of the Valor Championship will receive 1000 Galleons - or the American equivalent. Of course they will also gain glory and recognition for winning such a tournament. This was the only prize for the Triwizard tournament. However, this time we have added another prize. If the winner decides to study at a secondary institution or apply for a selective program after graduation, we have been working with both the British and American ministries to ensure a spot will be given to the champion wherever their future leads them.”

I hard some impressed whistles, and chatter broke out after hearing this news. Winning the Valor Championship could open so many doors for me. I hadn’t thought about my future too much because I knew my fathers reputation would hinder what I could do, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But if I won, nobody would turn me away. I leaned forward in anticipation, I was anxious to know how the champions would be chosen.

Thisbon took over, “As you all know, the ceremony to decide the champions is happening today.”

This statement was greeted by enthusiastic applause, almost entirely made up of the younger students who would get to enjoy the championship rather than potentially take part in it. 

Thisbon put his hand up to quiet down the room, “Yes, yes, I know. Very exciting.” He paused, “And although it is exciting, the seventh years should take note that it will be difficult and it will be dangerous. They should not enter this competition lightly. With that in mind, I will let the lovely Professor McGonagall explain how the rest of today will work.”

She nodded at him. “As soon as we finish giving out instructions, we will all proceed to the black lake together. All seventh years who wish to enter the competition will be asked to step forward once we are down there. Then, we will begin.”

Both Thisbon and McGonagall made their way towards the large oak doors. The students quickly responded and stood up, following the leaders of their schools. Automatically, I followed the crowd out of the hall and across the grounds. 

I was getting more and more nervous as we approached the lake. The dark glassy surface was eerily still. The gray clouds above me were haunting and there was a slight chill in the air. I pulled my robes tighter around me. As we got closer I noticed there were seats surrounding one side on the water, and a very small platform floating in front of them. 

The teachers sat in the first row, and the students filled in behind them. The seventh years awkwardly stood aside as nobody had instructed us on where to go. All McGonagall had said was to “step forward”, but step forward where? When?

As if reading my mind, McGonagall looked at the group of us and waved her wand, conjuring a narrow bridge connecting the floating platform to the shore. The rest of the students were still getting situated in their seats, and in our group nobody moved. I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the first one to go.

A tall girl from the back made her way to the bridge. She flicked her long, silverly-blonde hair over her shoulder and almost like a model walking down a runway, strutted down the bridge. That was everyone else’s cue.

One by one the seventh years walked across the bridge, and I noticed all the people who were entering. Right after the blonde girl Katie and Vanessa went. I noticed Fred Weasley go, then Chase. David followed Chase, and after him followed the rest of the Ilvermorny students, besides me. Some more Hogwarts people went after that but I didn’t know who they were. 

The only people left on the shore were me and James Potter. We both seemed to realize it at the same time. We made eye contact and I could tell he was nervous, there was fear in his eyes. I glimpsed that other side of James Potter for split second, then he want back to normal. He gave me his signature glare of hatred, and not wanting to be the last one on to “step forward” James nearly ran to the bridge. 

The time had come, it was now or never. My heart was pounding, and I nearly walked the other way. Against every instinct of mine to run, I put one foot in front of the other and walked across that bridge. Once I stepped onto the platform the bridge disappeared behind me. 

The platform seemed to have expanded with every new addition. We stood facing the rest of the school in a single line. Everyone was watching. I was stranded in the middle of the lake with a group of people all more deserving of being champions than me, being stared at by an even larger group of people, most of whom did not want me to become one. I had never felt more alone. 

“GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU,” Thisbon’s voice rang out, magically enhanced, “AND MAY THE BEST CHAMPIONS RISE.”

Before I had a chance to think about what his words meant or what was going to happen, the platform dropped from under me. I thrashed around in the water, unable to breathe, my robes weighing me down. I didn’t know if this was part of the competition or not, my only thought was getting back to the surface. 

I kicked as hard as I could, trying to propel myself upwards, but I felt stuck. I was panicking, surely this was not part or the plan - drowning your champions before you even picked them? 

Just as I was about to give up, I felt myself being lifted out of the water. I could tell it wasn’t a person helping me though. I felt like I was floating, almost like I was flying. I wasn’t scared anymore, I knew this force was safe. It lifted me gently back onto the platform. I was completely dry and felt so alive.

The sound of cheering and applause brought me back to reality. I started to notice my surroundings, and I tried to figure out what had happened. 

Immediately I saw of mass of sopping wet, coughing, sputtering people back on the shore. I made out Katie and Fred Weasley in that group. So deduction, not everybody was left on this platform. 

I look to my right and standing with me were David Calder, Chase Rester, and that blonde haired girl who crossed the bridge first. With a shudder of dislike, I realized Vanessa Wood was also on the platform. When I saw James Potter standing haughtily at the other end of the line, his previous fear apparently gone, loathing radiated through me. 

As I looked back along the people still on this platform I was awestruck. So astonished in fact, I forgot about my feeling towards Potter, and finally understood what had just happened. 

The people standing next to me were quite literally glowing. We were in our line, and a subtle but beautiful bluish light was emanating from every person. I looked down at my own hands and saw that I was glowing too.The six of us were standing here on this platform, glowing - we must be the champions. I smiled and looked back up at the cheering crowd. I raised my hand up and waved to them, the cheering got louder, they were cheering for me.


Vanessa smugly waved, basking in the adoration of her school and her house.


Potter looked ridiculous as he puffed out his chest and took a bow, his applause was almost deafening. 


I could finally put a face to the name. Dominique curtsied daintily and winked at the audience. I heard a few wolf whistles from the male members of the school. Inwardly I rolled my eyes at them.


I noticed McGonagall give Thisbon a look which very obviously meant to move on, “ALRIGHTY THEN, I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE OUR CHAMPIONS - CHASE RESTER,”

Much applause and a few girlish squeals.


More applause, but a few less squeals.


My applause was the weakest and most halfhearted, unsurprisingly. I smiled and waved despite the school’s ill enthusiasm. I was still excited and I was still proud. Potter was staring at me yet again, and I willed myself not to immaturely stick out my tongue at him. I just looked away and hoped maybe now he would leave me alone, but I sincerely doubted my wish would come true. 




This was our cue to head back inside. Without any of us noticing, the bridge had reappeared, but this time instead of rickety wood, it was made out of what looked like solid glass. One at a time we walked across the bridge where McGonagall was waiting. As soon as we stepped off the bridge our outer glows died out, but I still felt a warm glow burning inside.

McGonagall spoke, “You six now have a binding magical contract - you must compete in these challenges, you do not have an option.” She looked at us sternly, “Do you understand?”

A chorus of “Yes ma’am” and “Yes Professor” chimed through our group. 

“Good - we understand that this will be no small feat and want to give you all the best chance of success. So, three times a week instead of your free periods you will be given time to prepare. We have set aside an empty classroom for you to research, practice, and learn what you feel you need to work on. You will not be supervised, so please act like champions and be responsible, don’t make me regret this.”

McGonagall finished her mini-lecture and gave us a rare thin-lipped smile, “Good luck to all of you, now head back inside I’m sure your classmates will want to celebrate.”

I was giddy. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be picked over almost every single other person at my school to be champion. I was even picked over Katie, I’m sure she wasn’t thrilled about that. I’m sure nobody from Ilvermorny would have expected me to win, Chase sure, even David who everyone knew was smart, but me? The notoriously lonely girl with the evil dad? Never. But, against all odds, here I was.

Even though I was now a champion, my social standing was still the same and I figured nobody would really be looking to celebrate with me, so in no rush to get back into the castle, I decide to take a walk through the grounds instead. I look up and realized the gray clouds somehow seemed almost cheerful now. I looked back at the black lake; the still water didn’t scare me anymore, it weirdly calmed me. Everything looked better in the light of being a champion.

“Hey wait up!” A girls voice called from behind me. It was Dominique Weasley. I looked to see if there was anybody else she could be calling out to, but I was the only one around. Confused, I stopped and waited for her to catch up. 

She confidently put out a hand, “Hi! I’m Dominique, but my friends just call me Dom.”

Still unsure of why this was happening, I cautiously take her hand, “I’m Ella.”

“Look - I know you don’t have many friends here -”

Why did she feel the need to run up to me, going out of her way to try to intimidate me?

“If you want to insult me, your cousin already has that handled but thanks,” offended, I start walking away.

“Wait! Shit, sorry! I didn’t mean it like that!” I turned back around, annoyed but willing to listen, and faced her. 

“What I meant was, I want to be your friend. I know we’re competitors and probably supposed to hate each other, but you seem like you need a friend here and I happen to need a friend too.” She gave me a dazzling smile.

Anyone could see she was beautiful, I knew the boys here loved her, she was a newly appointed Hogwarts champion, and she was a Weasley. Definitely more popular than I ever was or probably would ever be, I couldn’t put together why she was reaching out to me. 

I was suspicious, “Is this a trick?” 

She rolled her eyes, “I don’t do that, and even if I wanted to I’m not subtle enough to get away with any double-agent, backstabbing scheming thing. You seem cool and I want to be your friend; you’re feisty and I need some spark in my life,” she shrugged, “but if you have too many friends and can’t fit me in then I guess I’m out of luck,” she sighed dramatically, leaning back and putting a hand on her forehead. She looked at me expectantly and despite myself I smiled.

“Fine,” I gave in. “How do I even know if I like you enough to be friends with you? We literally just met,” I asked, only half-joking.

“Oh, dearest Ella,” She slung an arm around me, “there’s no need to worry, everybody likes me - it’s a gift and a curse.”

I just scoffed but followed her lead when she started skipping back to the castle. I could tell she would be a handful, but I was willing to give this friendship a shot. And even if we ended up not getting along, being friends with one more member of James’ family would just piss him off more, so either way I would win. 


Chapter 7: Greenhouse Three
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Thank you all for being patient with me. This chapter is a bit longer, and we're seeing some different sides of a few different relationships. As always, thank you for reaching and please please please review!

Dominique - sorry, Dom has been going out of her way to include me since she decided we were friends. I was glad she had too, because the only time David ever made an appearance was during classes, and he just changed the subject whenever I brought up where he disappeared to.

Katie was still sucking up to Vanessa trying (and unfortunately succeeding) at getting into the “popular” group at Hogwarts. Leaving me lonely and without anybody from home. 

Fortunately for me, Dom didn’t do anything halfway. Making me feel at home at Hogwarts became her new personal mission. She had already given me multiple extremely detailed tours of the castle, so I kind of knew my way around now. 

She insisted I sit with her during every meal, and introduced me to every person she knew here, which meant, that because she was - well, Dominique, I think I met every person at this school. Even including a select few of the house elves Dom had befriended over the years. 

Not that I really remembered anyone’s name though, I really tried, I just became incredibly overwhelmed. 

The weirdest thing that I started to realize though, is that everybody knew who I was, and more than that, any time Dom introduced me to someone, they seemed genuinely excited to meet me. I guess being somewhat popular (or at least people knew my name) came with the territory of being a Champion. I wasn’t used to it, but it was a good feeling.

Today’s mission was the joint common room, which I naively didn’t know existed before today. It was a place that was meant to promote “inter house unity” but Dom claimed it was “just a big room for people from other houses to either compete or compare themselves to each other”. I had no idea what to expect. 

Well - it was a large room, Dom had got that much right. The rounded walls and high windows made it feel very open and inviting. There was a banner for each house equally spaced along the walls, with a large Hogwarts crest hung directly across from the entrance, so it was the first thing you saw when you walked in. 

There were couches, there were tables, there were multiple fireplaces, and there were so many people.

Dom didn’t give me time to even glance around the room to see if I could spot any familiar faces before dragging me off. I was glad she took the lead, I was too overwhelmed. We headed towards a sitting area towards the back, where a few people were already . 

At first i didn’t recognize the people, but I was relieved as soon as I remembered meeting them - it was Dom’s family. They were a loud, opinionated bunch, but since Dominique had “adopted” me, they had deemed me worthy of their acceptance. Of course, except for Potter.

I hadn’t had the chance to really get to know any of them though, so I wasn’t entirely comfortable in this situation. I sat in an empty armchair and I noticed the specific faces in the group; Rose Weasley, Fred Weasley (for once without Potter), and Lily Potter. 

“Hello dearest family members,” Dom greeted them as she plopped into a spot on the couch next to Fred.

“Hi crazy,” Fred smiled at her, “Hi crazy’s friend” he nodded at me. Rose and Lily smiled at me as well.

Okay good, I think him starting out this powwow by making fun of me was his way this of inviting me into the group - and more importantly letting me know that he didn’t hold the same grudge against me that James did. 

I sat in the open armchair next to Rose, as she continued with the discussion they must have been having before we arrived.

“Tell me again why you and James felt the need to charm all the house elves’ uniforms pink?” It seemed like she had asked this question before and was trying to get Fred to justify it himself. 

“Rosie, I told you already - James and me can just tell that the house elves were tired of the boring white rags they always wear and since we can’t give them real clothes, we thought: why not just change the color?”

“So you decided on…pink?” Lily asked with a smirk.

Fred was getting impatient with their lack of understanding, “Pink is a color of power, fun, and excitement! We wanted to make them happy!” He huffed in his chair and crossed his arms defiantly.

“Did James tell you that?” Lily asked, holding back laughter like the rest of us.

“Well, yeah…” Fred answered uneasily, sensing that she would say something else.

She continued, “Did the house elves ask you to change the color of their uniform?” 

“No, but - “

“Did they seem happy with the color choice?” Lily continued her line of questioning.

“I haven’t had a chance to see them, but…”

Lily patted Fred consolingly on the shoulder before he could finish, “Sorry Fred, but you’re an idiot.”

He aggressively pushed Lily’s hand off his shoulder, and looked offended at first, then a look of understanding crossed his face, and ashamed, he put his head in his hands.

We all burst into laughter at this point.

“I can’t believe I let James talk me into something like this again!” he exclaimed, exasperated.

“To be fair, it’s not like you wouldn’t have done it for any other reason than ‘it would be funny’,” Dom challenged Fred, still laughing.

“Fair point,” Fred acknowledged, already recovering from his previous embarrassment.

“James just gets a kick out of fucking with you, you should know better by now,” Lily said. I was slightly taken aback with her harsh language, she seemed so innocent and young - I didn’t expect that type of language to come out of her. 

“Speaking of my manipulative brother,” Lily changed the subject, “how are you and him doing nowadays Ella?” She turned to me. 

I hadn’t expected the subject of the conversation to turn to me, but I decided to go along with it. Dom told me it wasn’t worth it pretending to act differently than how I felt about Potter towards the family.

“You mean has he done anything other than glare at me or insult me recently? That would be a solid no.” 

It came out harsher than I expected it to. There was an awkward silence.

Rose broke it, “Typical James.” 

“Always on his high fucking horse,” Lily agreed

I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding, I was so relieved I hadn’t offended them. I did not want to be on these people’s bad sides. 

“I’ve tried talking some sense into him,” Fred told me apologetically.

“Really?” I asked, touched. Fred and I had never even had a real conversation, and he took the time to try to talk his best friend into being nicer to me?

“Yeah, but he won’t hear it from anybody. James is convinced you’re evil incarnate,” he paused and suspiciously eyed me, “- you’re not evil incarnate…are you?”

“Of course not!” I exclaimed, about to get defensive, but apparently my three words were good enough for Fred.

“Just making sure,” he shrugged.

“James is just being an ass,” Rose offered, “he’s always been like this - making snap judgements and running with them.”

I didn’t realize it would make me feel this way, but hearing his own family take my side over his in our feud made my heart swell; their acceptance of me made me feel so much better about the whole situation, it didn’t make me hate Potter any less, but it let me like his family.

“That’s kind of hypocritical Rose,” Dom accused.

“What are you talking about,” Rose counted, obviously annoyed.

“Does the name Scorpious Malfoy ring any bells?” Dom raised her eyebrows at her.

I knew about their relationship from Scorpious, but had never heard Rose’s views on it. This would be interesting.

I could tell this subject got Rose heated, “That’s different.”

“You judged him from the second you saw him on platform nine and three quarters your first year, and you have never once given him a chance.”

I hadn’t known Dominique Weasley long, but we had talked about Rose and Scorpious’ relationship before - and she was convinced they had feelings for each other. I was sure this was just another one of Dom’s tactics to try to get Rose to admit her feelings.

“Do you not remember all the shit he’s pulled on me since we met?” Rose challenged.

“Do you not remember all the shit you’ve pulled on him?” Dom countered.

I could see Rose’s ears starting to turn red with anger, “Since when are you a member of the Scorpious Malfoy fan club?

I’m not,” Dom stressed, “but I’m starting to think you might be.”

Lily and Fred were sitting back enjoying the whole argument, this didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary. I’d bet that these two have had this exact argument before,  and I had to say, it was pretty entertaining. 

“I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be smart,” Rose responded aggressively. She started talking to Dom as if she were speaking to a child, “let me explain this to you so you can understand, okay? When two people don’t like each other, they fight. I don’t like Malfoy. He doesn’t like me. We fight. End of story. It’s not complicated.”

Dom just shook her head, not believed a word that came out of Rose’s mouth. Dom’s bitchy side was coming out.

“Rose, let me explain this in a way you should understand, okay? He’s hot. You’re hot. You obviously have a weird tension. It’s going to happen between the two of you, whether you’re expecting it or not.”

Rose just rolled her eyes and turned a slightly brighter shade of pink.

“What about Ella and James then, huh?” Rose didn’t even look at me, she was still staring Dom down.

My eyes widened, and  snapped to attention. Why was I being brought into this?

“What about them?” Dom asked, exasperated.

“They fight just like me and Malfoy fight, and I don’t see anybody trying to make it seem like they like each other, or ever will.”

I was a little stung by her words, but she was right. I knew I would never be on good terms with Potter, let alone like him, and I knew the feeling was mutual. 

“It’s different, and you know it’s different.” Dom still would not be swayed.

“Actually, -” the sound of Fred’s voice caught us off guard. He looked a little scared to be inserting himself into this argument, “Ella and James fighting kind of reminds me of Rose and Scorpious, or at least how they used to be.”

Rose and Dom both looked confused. I was curious as well so I asked him a question.

“What do you mean, how they used to be?”

Under the glares of his two riled up female cousins he explained himself. 

“Well, uh, so a while ago - years ago, when Rose and Scorpious used to argue it was - uh, meaner I guess? But, I feel like now you just kind of tease each other if that makes sense…well not really tease, that’s not the right word…more like pester - yeah pester. It’s like you argue for the sake of arguing..” Fred trailed off, looking anxiously at his cousins, trying to see how they would react. 

Dom smugly looked at Rose and said, “see? now you just argue because you need an excuse to talk to each other. Because you’re in looove with him.”

‘You’re wrong.” 

Rose got up, and furiously walked away without saying another word. I had just witnessed my first Weasley family argument, and I had to say that this family lived up to their reputation.

The rest of us looked at Dom a little accusingly because she was the reason Rose got so mad. 

“What?” She shrugged, ‘it’s for her own good, just you guys wait.”

She didn’t seemed bothered at all by the argument. 

“Now that you mention it though,” Lily chimed in for the first time in a while, “Ella and James do kind of remind me or Rose and Scorpious.”

“Hah! I told you!” Fred looked pleased with himself.

“I guess I do kind of see the similarities…” Dom reluctantly agreed.

This statement bothered me more than it should have. I was friends with Scorpious, how could they compare him to Potter? I knew them both, and liked them both - and a small part of me even agreed with Dom, maybe they did have feelings for each other deep down. No way Potter and I were the same as them, my feelings for him would never change.


We - the champions - were all sitting in the empty classroom, unsure of what we were supposed to be doing. There were six tables in the classroom, but only three were occupied. David and Chase sat together, as did Potter and Vanessa (the devilish duo of course would be sitting together), and I was sitting with my slightly psychotic new friend Dominique.

The only clue we had received to base our research and practice on was the theme “earth” - thats it. We had no idea what a challenge in the Valor Championship would mean for us. I thought once the champions were chosen, this competition wouldn’t be shrouded in so much mystery, and I would finally understand what was going on. I was grossly mistaken.

Nobody spoke. Nobody had any educational materials out in front of them. I looked around and we all seemed to be thinking the same thing - where do we start? David seemed to be mentally counting, Chase had been looking for “something” in his bag for almost five minutes, Dominique was absentmindedly doodling on a spare bit of parchment, Vanessa was touching up her makeup, and Potter was just staring forward, his eyes glazed over, lost in thought.

I was chewing on my pen (yes, at Ilvermorny we used school supplies from this century, and when I came here I didn’t want to start using a quill and inkwell), and trying to come up with an idea - any idea - that would be useful in preparing for the challenge next month. The only possible area of study I could think of that related to earth was herbology. Plants, earth, there was a connection right? And rather than sit in the stony silence of the deserted classroom, I decided I should just go to the greenhouses and check out some of the plants for myself.

As I stood up, eager to leave the stressed silence of the classroom, I heard the squeaking of a chair. I whipped my head to the sound and saw Potter standing up as well. The other champions were looking at us, welcoming any distraction from their mental stalemate.

Potter and I walked to the door, both speeding up with each step, trying to beat each other to the door. We were practically running by the time we reached it, Potter reaching the handle a split second before me. 

Vanessa glared at Potter, mentally trying to convey to him not to be alone with me, and especially not to leave her. He shrugged, and now even angrier, she directed her glare at me, as if of course I had planned to be stuck in this position alone with Potter, trying to “steal” away her prized possession. 

Dom just raised her eyebrows in amusement at the still silent battle and turned back to her doodling. Potter opened the door, and I quickly followed behind him. 

I yearned to ask him where he was going. Did he have the same idea as I did to go the the greenhouses? Did he make some other mental breakthrough? Was I missing something that he understood?

In silence I tailed James through the castle. He walked with purpose and he knew where he was going. The layout of the castle still somewhat confused me, but it seems like he was going in the direction of the front door, so I followed him. 

We finally reached the front entrance and he slipped out, not looking back. 

We reached greenhouse three at the same time. Professor Longbottom had given us all keys when we were chosen, and I opened the door. 

This is where the more dangerous plants were housed; it seemed our brains worked alike because we had the same idea to start here. Neither one of us wanting to talk first, we went to opposite sides of the greenhouse. 

Breaking the silence at this point after so long would be admitting defeat. It would let the other person win. Potter and I, in the short span of knowing one another, were in a constant state of competition. Each victory and loss mattered. 

I walked over to a glass case with a slow moving green lumpy plant in it. I opened my herbology book and started researching the plant in front of me which I identified as Devil’s Snare. 

Native to Britain; can be found in Peru, Ecuador, Iceland, and parts of Norway. Devil’s Snare that is fully grown to maturity can grow infinitely large in dark areas if not maintained. Because this specimen only survives in darkness, it cannot thrive while exposed to any sunlight so it will most likely live in dark caves or deep under cover of forests.  

The defense mechanism for Devil’s Snare is advanced, and deadly. While a sapling would only cause mild discomfort, the vines of a full grown plant can fatally constrict any threat coming near them.


I examine the plant again and see its tendrils moving, ready to strike.

I looked up to see Potter examining a vicious looking fanged flower a few feet away. The tension in the room was thick and uncomfortable; both of us too stubborn to say a word. 

I walk down one aisle of the greenhouse and see individual boxes housing smaller, potted versions of Devil’s Snare lining the center table. Annoyed and frustrated (I couldn’t tell if it was at myself or at Potter), I “accidentally” pushed one of the potted Devil’s Snares out of its box, and off the table, towards him. 

The pot shattered on the floor. The vines immediately constricted his legs and worked their way up.

“What the fuck, Chambers!”

He tried charging at me, but instead fell face first onto the dirty greenhouse floor due to the thick green restraints around his legs. He wriggled around as the vines progressed from his legs to his midsection, binding his arms to his side, rendering him, for lack of a better world; helpless.

I should have felt bad for acting so immature and pulling such a childish prank. I knew this small, still developing sapling of the plant couldn’t do real harm to him, so when I started giggling at his stumble, I couldn't find it in myself to feel remorse. 

Imagine it, James Potter helplessly grabbing at the plant while stuck, withering on the floor. He dropped his wand on his fall down - it had rolled under the table, out of reach. Whatever anger and frustration I was feeling vanished as soon as Potter hit the floor. I finally won something over him!

He looked up at me from his place on the ground. I could tell he needed my help but had entirely too much pride to ask for it. 

Still laughing, and wanting to further prove my dominance over him, I lit the tip of my wand with a bright fire, effectively holding back the tendrils of the plant, and freeing Potter. 

“You’re welcome,” I smirk at him.

He stood up and brushed himself off. I stopped laughing as soon as I saw the look on his face; hatred. But behind that hatred I saw something else, he looked hurt. He took a few steps forward and was now standing inches away from me. 

We were sanding close, uncomfortably close, but I found myself frozen. I couldn’t move, in this moment, I was scared of him. He was staring at me, either too mad to speak, or trying to formulate exactly what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it. 

I had never been this close to him before, and didn’t realize how tall Potter was; my head only came up to his shoulder and I had to crane my neck up to look at him properly. I noticed how symmetrical his face was, except one eyebrow went a little higher than the other. You couldn’t tell from far away but he has very faint freckles across his nose too. And his eyes did not have a definite color; I saw a mosaic of hazel and green and blue, and it was mesmerizing. 

James Potter was standing incredibly close to me, staring at me, and I realized he was attractive. Not just normal “kind of good looking” attractive though, he was hot. 

This was all purely observational though, I felt no attraction to James Potter whatsoever.  Nope, not me. He had been nothing but a complete asshole since I got here. Anyway, he was my competitor. Moment over. 

I did finally understand though why the entire female population of Hogwarts was so enamored by him - I digress. 

Still waiting for him to say something, I look around the greenhouse, looking anywhere but at him. I could feel his eyes bearing into me, I could almost feel anger radiating off of him. I couldn’t stand the silence anymore, so I boldly decided to break it.

“I’m sorry?” I asked uneasily, looking into his eyes, trying to gauge his reaction.

“No you’re not.” He said blankly, not breaking eye contact. 

Not knowing how to respond to that I try to take a step back, but Potter was quick and he grabbed my wrist roughly. 

“Don’t pretend you belong here. I know who you are and where you come from.” 

His voice was slow, deep , and measured. He leans down so he is speaking directly in my ear, “And don’t even for a second think that you have a chance at winning this competition.”

He let me go and walked out of the greenhouse. I just stood there, stunned for a minute after he was gone. I don’t know what I was intending his reaction would be when I knowingly pissed him off, but I definitely didn’t expect that. 

He took everything I did so seriously. To anybody else that would have seemed like a prank - I’m sure James Potter had probably masterminded pranks that were way worse. But, no. Since I was so evil in his eyes, anything and everything I did was evil.

I wanted to prove his wrong, but at the same time I know it wouldn’t be worth it to try. I was a good person, and it wasn’t my personal responsibility to make sure other people didn’t stereotype me without giving me a change to be myself. 

I know that if I let him get to me this will all be over. I’ll give up on the championship, and I’ll go home defeated. I will use his hatred and his anger as fuel. I am even more determined to win this competition because Potter is sure I can’t. I am stronger than he thinks I am. I will prove him wrong.


Chapter 8: Halloween
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“There’s just too much pressure,” I whined, “what would happen if I just don’t do it?”


Scorpious kept flipping through pages in his book, and Albus just shrugged and left our table to go pull more books from the shelf behind him.


“Come on, I’m serious!” I said, trying to get them to pay attention to me.

Scorpious begrudgingly looked up from his research.


“Ella, you have to do it.” 


“Can you do it for me?” I asked slyly, already knowing what his response would be.


“We’ve gone over this a hundred times, you have to choose your own Hogwarts house.”


I looked to Albus who had just sat back down. He set his new stack of titles down in front of him, hiding his face. He peeked his head out from the side of the stack.


“And before you ask, I will yet again say that I will not under any circumstances decide what Hogwarts house you should be in for you.” 


Tired of having this conversation to no avail, I just groaned and sank down in my chair.

Albus and Scorpious ignored me. At this point I had asked them so many times to help me choose they had learned to tune it out, and only responded my pestering so they could shut me up faster.


Albus passed around the new books to Scorpious and me. They were helping me research anything that could come up in the challenge next week. Yes, the first challenge in the Valor Competition was officially only ONE WEEK away. 


I was terrified, and the added pressure of trying to decide which Hogwarts house I best fit into did not help with my stress levels. 


“Can you just agree not to freak out about it until after you make it out of the first challenge alive?” Scorpious asked.


I sat up and nodded, deciding to agree with Scorpious’ proposition. I pushed the house debate to the back of my mind, and tried to bring my attention back to researching for the first task.


The book that landed in front of me was titled “The Art of Digging: A 17th Century Guide To Create A GardenYour Neighbors Will Be Jealous Of”.


“Why am I reading this again?” I ask Albus, gingerly holding up the book to display the title for him to read.


“When you lose the first challenge you’re going to need a hobby,” Scorpious grinned.


Instinctually, Scorpious raised his arms to shield his face right as I chucked the book at him. Unfortunately however, the cat-like librarian Madam Wells happened to be walking past our table at exactly the wrong moment.


“I WILL NOT HAVE STUDENTS THROWING LIBRARY BOOKS!” she aggressively pointed to the door, “OUT! NOW!” 


We threw our stuff into our bags and practically ran out of the library, thankfully avoiding getting into any more trouble. 


“If Madam Wells doesn’t skin us alive next time she sees us, same time same place tomorrow?” Scorpious asked.


“At this point I doubt it’ll help,” I responded. mournfully, losing hope that I would have any chance of doing well in this challenge.


“You’re coming tomorrow, and you’re not going to lose,” Albus said with an annoyingly optimistic grin. 


I just shrugged, “see you later guys.”


They walked off in the opposite direction to Slytherin dorms. I set off alone, hoping I wouldn’t run into anyone. My lack of enthusiasm wasn’t a lack of hope. I still hoped I could do well in the competition. My pessimism came from how unprepared I felt for it. 


Scorpious and Albus had been helping me almost every day in the library, pulling books and helping me learn spells even remotely related to herbology, rocks, dirt, etc. Dom and I agreed that it was best for our friendship if we kept our research and preparation to ourselves, so we didn’t do much preparation together.


I mentally went over the spells I had already gotten pretty good at: Exterra was useful for getting dirt and rocks out of the way, Crescare was effective at speeding up a plant’s growth, and Novis reversed it. 


As I walked passed the portrait of a warlock with a purple beard, I turned the corner to the last thing I needed to see today. Vanessa Wood was pressed against the corridor wall, kissing James Potter as if her life depended on it. Her hands were working hard to mess up his hair as much as possible. Their mouths were so attached I was surprised neither one of them had passed out from a lack of oxygen. 


I gagged inwardly at this disgusting display of public affection by these two disgusting people.


“Ehem.” Instead of quietly walking away as I should have, I cleared my throat, bringing attention to myself.


Their heads whip around to face me and they spring apart. Realizing I wasn’t a teacher there to get them into trouble, Vanessa narrows her eyes (a look I have grown used to from her).


“Get lost Chambers,” she said scathingly, “we were busy.”


“Oh I’m so sorry I interrupted,” I say, my voice brimming with sarcasm, “it’s my fault for walking in on you in a public hallway.”


Just leave us alone,” said Potter in a dead voice, not meeting my eyes. 


“She’s just jealous,” Vanessa said smugly to Potter, putting an arm around Potter’s waist and pulling him close.


“Oh yeah that’s it, exactly right,” I say, rolling my eyes, “I was a little worried about competing against you in a few days, but now that you’ve shown me even a flobberworm is smarter than you, I’m not so worried anymore.”


Before either of them had a chance to respond I brush past them and continue walking to the Ilvermorny dorms. Neither of them attempted to yell anything after me, but I did hear Vanessa’s voice faintly after I left, angrily accusing Potter of not defending her honor.


After that encounter I didn’t feel any more prepared for the task ahead, but it did lay one thing to rest in my mind. When it came time to choose my Hogwarts house, I definitely was not going to pick Gryffindor.




The last champion class before the first challenge had just ended. The next time we would all be together in a group would be on Sunday - the day of the challenge. 


I was in a weird state of nervous focus. Any second I spend not practicing a spell, or without a book in my hand was a second wasted. 


“Ella, you need to calm down a little. Your brain is going to explode,” Dom said as we were packing up our stuff, and she saw I was trying to cram about ten books into my bag.


“How can you be so calm about everything?” I asked her. Over the past week, the more stressed I became, the calmer she seemed to get. 


“Because I know I’m prepared, and so are you.” She flicked her hair over her shoulder and put her hands on her hips in typical Dominique fashion. 


“I’ll meet up with you later, Jacob Thompson asked me to sit by him at dinner tonight,” she raised her eyebrows seductively, and dashed off.


By now I was used to Dom leaving me for her various male companions, so I was used to going down to dinner alone. I noticed David and Chase were only a few steps in front of me in the corridor, I hadn’t spoken to them much recently. Looking for any excuse to talk to Chase, I jogged up to them.


“How are you guys feeling?” I asked. 


“Nervous” they responded in unison. Chase cracked a smile, but David just looked terrified. 


“Any thought to what house you’re going to pick?” Chase asked me, steering the conversation away from the competition. I felt my heartbeat speed up like it always did when Chase talked directly to me. 


“All I know is not Gryffindor,” I say with disgust in my voice.


“Do you have a reason?” Chase asked curiously. 


As if one cue, Potter and Vanessa walk by, hand in hand. Potter pretends not to see me, but Vanessa glares at me challengingly. She stops walking in the middle of the corridor and pulls Potter into a passionate kiss.


I give Chase a pointed look, and motion towards the disgusting display, “Exhibit A.”


“Fair enough,” he chuckled. 


“Wait, where did David go?” I ask. He had just been walking with us. 


Chase just shrugged. I guess Chase had gotten used to David’s constant disappearances. 


Without David there, I was hit with the realization that Chase and I were walking alone. We were almost to the Great Hall, so I didn’t have a lot of time to take advantage of the moment. 


I was trying to think of a subtle way to flirt with Chase, but I had never really been good at talking to boys, and even worse at actually making a lasting impression (a good one anyway). I should have asked Dom for boy advice, but this timing was unexpected. 

Too nervous I would say the wrong thing, I decidedly didn’t say anything, so we walked in silence until we reached the doors to the great hall. 


I was so preoccupied with my own awkwardness, I hardly noticed that there were more than double the usual amount of candles, at least a hundred floating pumpkins, and high above us there were even bats flying around (not real ones I hope).  


I saw Albus and Scorpious sitting at the Slytherin table. Still not saying a word, I was about to go over and join them, when Chase grabbed my arm. 


“Wait,” he said nervously, his hand still on my arm. I turned to face him. He paused for a moment before asking, “Want to come to the Halloween party with me tonight?”


Dom had mentioned the party weeks ago. However, I had been so preoccupied with the upcoming task, I had completely forgotten about Halloween, and the annual party the students threw in the joint common room.


I felt my face uncomfortably flush. He was looking at me hopefully. 


“I’d love to,” I beamed. I could not believe that Chase Rester had just asked me out. I never dared to even hope that this could happen, I thought it was too unrealistic for a guy I had been pining after for years would finally give me the time of day. 


“Good,” he looked at the ground nervously. I had never seen his so uncomfortable, it was sweet. “I’ll uh, see you later?” 


“Yeah, see you.”


After dinner, I was up in the Ravenclaw tower with Dom rushing to explain her how Chase had asked me to the party. She shrieked with excitement and tackled me off of her bed.


“It’s all very exciting I know,” I said to her, sitting up on the floor, “but I’m not ready!” 


I was panicking.


I grabbed her by the shoulders, “I’ve been so focused on the first task I completely forgot about Halloween,” I blurted, “I have no idea what Chase and I even have to talk about, I completely forgot about this party…and oh my god what am I going to WE -“


Dom clapped her hand over my mouth, effectively stopping my rambling. 


“Stop. Deep breath,” she instructed. 


I deeply inhaled and she took her hand away.


“Darling, you’re forgetting that you’re friends with ME,” Dom said, “and I will take care of everything.”


I let out a huge sigh of relief.


“Dom, you are a lifesaver, how can I tha-“


Again she stopped me mid-sentence by putting her hand over my mouth. I licked it and she flinched away.


“First of all ew,” she said, wiping her hand on my robes, “and second of all, there’s no more time for talking - you can thank me later. But for now, we have a lot of work to do.”


She swiftly stood up and threw her wardrobe doors open. The amount of clothes she had was shocking - we wore uniforms every day, what could she possibly need this much variety for? I don’t know how she could possibly find what she was looking either, in the mess that was her closet, all I could see were heaps of different colored fabrics.


Dom much have had some sort of organizational system because instead of looking frightened, she determinedly sifted through her wardrobe, occasionally flinging random articles of clothing at me.


She flicked her silvery hair over her shoulder and swiveled around to face me, “I don’t have a spare costume, but I think this will do.”





“I feel like a stereotype came to life,” I said to Dom as I examined my reflection in her full length mirror.


I was wearing a tight leather skirt over sheer tights, paired with a plain tank top, everything was black. Dom had fastened a thick choker with a circular charm around my neck, and after a painful fifteen minutes of arguing, I finally gave in to wearing three-inch high heels. She insisted I wear velvet cat ears in my hair and a long, black tail pinned to the back of my skirt (that Dom had transfigured from an old sock) to “complete the look”.


“You look great,” she said, not even looking at me but instead at her own reflection as she finished applying glitter to her cheeks.


I appraised her outfit, and as always, she looked stunning. Flowing white fabric draped elegantly around her, falling in exactly the right places without being too revealing. Her silver hair hung long in soft curls which fell around the massive white feathered angel wings sprouting from her back. She wore impossibly high shimmering gold shoes, and to top it all off she enchanted a halo to delicately float above her head. She would command the attention of every single person at the party tonight, she was radiant.


“We’re late,” she declared after she applied one last coat of lip gloss, “come on”. 


I had assumed we would just meet at the party because Chase hadn't mentioned anything about meeting up before, so it was unexpected for me to walk out of the Ravenclaw common room to see Chase waiting for me. 


He was dressed like the most ridiculous knight I’d ever seen. He was wearing shorter shorts than I would ever wear, and ill-fitting chain armor complete with a lopsided helmet and plastic sword. 


Instead of smiling, giving him a hug, or even saying “hi” like a normal person, I just blurted out, “who are you supposed to be?”


He looked down at his outfit and mockingly put his hand over his heart.


“How dare you m’lady - ’tis I! Sir Cadogen! Great knight and slayer of monsters! Proud protector of the portraits of Hogwarts!” He smirked. 


Dom was giggling beside me. It made sense now, he was dressed up as the ridiculous knight from a portrait at Hogwarts, Sir Cadogen, who was infamous for running through paintings, trying to challenge anyone who would listen to a duel. 


I grinned back at him, “Hi Chase.” 


“I’m going to meet my date, you two have fun!” Dom squeezed my arm glided away.


“You look great,” he complimented me, “black cat?”


I sighed, “yeah, I probably should have been more creative,” I didn’t want to admit to him how last minute this costume was.


“Your costume is so much more interesting,” I motioned to his costume.


He chucked, “Thanks, I just hope people get it.”


We started walking to the Gryffindor common room where the party was going to be. I was surprised at how easily the conversation became between us. It was mostly small talk, but I didn’t get nearly as nervous as I had been earlier that day. I was still so conscious of his presence near me, and every time I made him smile, or when his gaze lingered on me for even a millisecond, I literally felt my heart flutter. 


I had never really been to parties at Ilvermorny, I was never invited and I never felt the desire to go. But here I was at one of the biggest Hogwarts parties of the year — and I was extremely unprepared.


The room was packed, everyone was dressed up, and from the looks of it, already plastered. There was a makeshift bar set up in the corner, where I could see Fred loudly calling out to random party-goers, trying to get each of them to have a drink, and when he finally persuaded them to do it, he enthusiastically mixed at least ten different liquids in a glass. 


I quickly glanced around the room to see if anyone else I knew was there yet. But, before I got a chance to actually take anything in, Chase grabbed my hard and started walking towards the bar.


“Let’s get a drink,” he quickly turned around and told me as he gently pulled me with him.


Chase didn’t seem out of place at all. He easily moved through the party, nodding and greeting his various friends from both Ilvermorny and Hogwarts. I didn’t know most of the people that said hi to him, and if I did know them, we definitely weren’t friends. How did he have the time to meet so many people, and how does he get everyone to like him? I was in awe. 


"What do you want to drink?” He asked politely once we got to the bar. I’d never really drank before, besides sometimes drinking wine at home with my mom, and I had surely never been drunk. 


“I’ll have whatever you have,” I replied quickly, not wanting him to know how inexperienced I was. 


He motioned to Fred to come over. 


“Two shots of Firewhiskey please.”


“Coming right up,” Fred winked at me and poured the shots. I noticed Fred was wearing thin framed round glasses (even though he doesn’t need them), and saw a lightning shaped scar painted on his forehead. I giggled to myself, realizing he was impersonating his famous uncle.


Chase handed me one of the overflowing glasses. 


“Cheers to our first Hogwarts party,” he held up his glass with a smile. 


“Cheers,” I clink my glass with his and feel the searing warmth of the amber liquid when I gulp it down. I cough a little and Chase laughs.


“You okay?”  He asked, only slightly concerned.


I giggle, already feeling the effects of the alcohol. 


“Yeah I’m fine, let’s dance.”


Probably because of the Firewhiskey, I feel bold enough to grab his hand and drag him to the dance floor. The music is upbeat, and every few songs we go back to the bar and take another drink. I feel great, more confident than I’ve ever felt, and on a DATE with a guy I’ve been crushing on for years. 


I let the music course through me, and for once in my life, I let loose. Chase twirls me around and I laugh. Without thinking my instincts take over, and I turn my back to him and start moving my hips on his body. He drunkenly grabs my hips and we are swaying back and forth, grinding. I can feel the tension building between us, and I don’t know if it was the bravery or the alcohol, but I spin around and put my hand on his neck, gently bringing his forehead down to meet mine. Our faces are so close, I can feel his breath. His eyes are closed but mine stay wide open, determined. We stay like this for a moment, until I lean in, ready for Chase and I to have our first kiss. 


“Stop,” He puts his hand on my shoulder, pushing me away, “I can’t do this. I’m sorry.”

He doesn’t look me in the eyes and quickly shuffles away. 


My head is spinning. I am drunk and alone at a party where I know nobody, just rejected by the only guy I’ve ever made a move on. What was wrong with me? Why did I have to ruin everything? Why didn’t he like me?


Numbly walking through the dance floor, I am trying to find anybody I know, or just find my way out. All I can see is colors and bodies, the music pounding in my ears. I can’t see straight, and disoriented, I run into someone and almost knock them over. 


“What the fuck!”


I look up and realize I ran into Vanessa, who was with Potter (obviously), and he was steadying her after she almost fell. Vanessa wore a dainty tiara on her wavy blonde hair. She held a scepter and wore an extremely low cut, corseted, floor-length purple velvet dress. Potter also had a crown, along with a purple robe and matching scepter. They were king and queen — how fitting. 


“Well, are you just going to stare at me or are you going to apologize?” Vanessa demanded with a hand on her hip.


I didn’t know what to say, for some reason I could not make out any words, so instead of apologizing I try to stumble away. I suddenly stop because I feel a firm grip on my arm, a large hand that was definitely not Vanessa.


I look up and it’s Potter, looking at me with a weird look in his eyes.


“Are you…crying?” He asks in wonder, as if the concept of crying was completely foreign to him. 


I touched my face in confusion, and I felt wetness on my cheeks. I guess I had been crying without realizing it, and embarrassed, I tried to wipe away my tears. 


“James, let’s go dance, I don’t want to spend another second with this loser.” Vanessa tugged at his hand.


He was still gripping my arm and I tried to shake him off of me but he wouldn’t let go. He looked conflicted. 


Potter sighed, and defeated, he pulled his hand away from Vanessa’s. She starts to protest, but he doesn’t respond to her, and instead yanks me along with him towards the back of the room.


“Let’s go find my brother,” he grumbles angrily.


I was in shock. I was drunk and sad and lost, and James Potter of all people was helping me? He didn’t look too thrilled about it, but still…maybe he did have a soul somewhere in there.


We walked through the party in silence. Eventually we found Albus sitting at the bar talking to Fred.


“Here,” Potter dumped me on a stool next to Albus, “She’s plastered - almost ran Vanessa over,“ I heard him mumble.


“Thanks mate,” Albus responded, and without another glance at me, James disappeared back into the crowd. 


“Let’s get you to bed.” Albus instructed me, while rubbing my back soothingly. I appreciated him not asking me why I was alone and crying.


“Thank you,” I said back to him, relieved. I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was fall asleep and forget this night had ever happened.