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A/n: Chapter 2 is up! Hope you enjoy, more characters are on the way.

Micaela stood in the middle of Diagon Alley.   Her mouth was open in wonder and her eyes alight with excitement.  She was wearing a brand new dress with no stains.  Her stockings were free of holes and her brand new shoes made a clicking noise as she walked along the cobblestones.  Her face was rid of dirt and grime and her hair seemed to have an added bounce.  Godric Gryffindor steered the much changed girl through the bustling crowds, his hand on her shoulder protectively, trying not to lose her small figure in the uproar. 

‘What is that shop for?’ She pointed to a dark shop full of ominous, bubbling liquids. 

‘That’s the Apothecary, where you get your Potions equipment.  It’s one of the subjects you'll take at Hogwarts,’ Godric explained.

‘Do you teach that class?’ Micaela asked, looking up at the tall man.  She squinted her eyes to see him through the glaring sun.

‘No,’ he looked uncomfortable for a second.  ‘Another…professor…does that one.’

‘What else do I need for school then?’

‘Well, you have your wand, which is the most important,’ he looked down at the girl, who was practically clutching the small, rectangular box to her chest.  ‘Why don’t I go get your Potion’s equipment and your books and you go get your robes, ok?’

He steered her to a small shop on the corner of the alley.  ‘Will you come back for me?’

‘I’ll be back in twenty minutes,’ he promised, smiling at the girl reassuringly. 

Micaela stepped into the shop, a bell tinkling as she did so.  A woman was bustling around a small girl, wearing robes much too big for her.  

‘I’ll be with you in a tick,’ the shopkeeper said winking at Micaela.  Micaela took a seat, near the entrance and watched as the needle and thread floated through the air all on their own.  In no time, the robes were a perfect fit and the customer paid and left.  

Micaela stood up nervously and edged over to the woman, who practically grabbed her and threw her upon the small raised platform.  ‘Hmmm, now you are a little thing, aren’t you?  Are you sure your parents are feeding you enough, dear?’

Micaela choked up at the thought of her parents.  Her mother probably didn’t even know she was gone, or didn’t care.  She chose not to reply and watched as the woman waved her wand about in all directions.

The bell tinkled and Micaela looked up to see a young, blonde boy enter the room.  He was carrying a bunch of packages in his arms and Micaela watched him set them down on a chair.  Their eyes met for a second and Micaela looked away, embarrassed.

‘Be with you in a second, son,’ the lady said as she ordered her pins to stick into the hem of Micaela’s new school robes.

Micaela looked up daringly and caught the boy’s eyes again.  He gave her a lopsided smile and shook his blonde hair out of his blue eyes.  Micaela smiled back, and looked down nervously.

‘All done, dear.  Now let me go get you a hat and you can be on your way.  Oh, just put your money on the counter.’

Micaela got off the stage and walked toward the counter uncertainly.  She reached into her pocket and pulled out a bunch of coins.  She stared at them for a while and pretended to count them out.  She could feel the boy’s curious eyes on her back.

‘Do you want some help?’ he walked up next to her and smiled.  ‘You seem to be struggling there.  Don’t worry, math was never my strong suite.’

‘Oh, thanks,’ Micaela nodded fervently and handed him the coins.  He counted out the right amount and placed it on the desk.  Then he handed her the remaining coins.

‘I’m Zach,’ he held out his hand, which she took lightly.

‘Micaela,’ she smiled and put her hands behind her back.  

‘Are you ready, boy?’ the shopkeeper was back.  Zach rolled his eyes at Micaela and let himself be dragged up onto the stage.  Micaela caught his eyes one more time, before she took the package the lady gave her and exited the shop.

Micaela stared nervously at the table.  A chipped, blue vase stood in the middle, looking rather lonely. 

'So, I just grab the vase and....and...wait, what happens?' Micaela shook her head in confusion.

'It transports you to the station, where you will catch the carriage to Hogwarts,' Godric explained slowly.

She clutched her chest, which was full of all her new possessions, in her arms and bit her lip.  Godric laughed at her expression.  

'Don't worry, I'm coming with you,' Godric assured her, checking his pocket watch.  'Just a few more seconds.  Ok.....NOW!'

Micaela closed her eyes tightly and grabbed the vase.  She flinched as she was jerked forward by the naval.  When she opened her eyes, she found herself in the middle of a wooden barn, standing on a metre of hay.  A line of great, red carriages were standing in front of her, with the word 'Hogwarts' emblazoned in gold on their sides.  There was nothing pulling the carriages.

‘Wow!’ she whispered. 'Where are the horses?'

'No horses,' laughed Godric.  ‘They pull themselves.  No one will be here for a while, but I thought I’d get you here early.  A Headmaster at the station would attract a bit too much attention.  Here, let’s get you in a carriage.’

Once Micaela was comfortably settled in a carriage at the front, with her luggage neatly stowed away, Godric began his dreaded speech.  

‘Micaela.  I can’t tell you much at the present moment.  However, I must warn you about something I haven’t told you about the Wizarding world.'

Micaela nodded while she rummaged through her bag looking for her wand.

'You see, some people believe that only people who are born right into the Wizarding world are real wizards or witches….’

‘So they believe that I’m not a witch?’ Micaela looked up in surprise, clutching her discovered wand in her tiny, white hand.  ‘Well then, why can I do the things that I can?’

Godric chuckled.  ‘That is the ultimate question, isn’t it?  Anyway, perhaps for now you shouldn’t tell people about your parentage.  At least not straight up.  Just until things settle down a bit, ok?’

Micaela nodded uncertainly, but she trusted Godric.  ‘Ok.’

‘Well then, I shall see you at school later tonight.  Have a good trip,’ he smiled at her.  He seemed to be struggling with himself for a second.  Then he suddenly leaned in and kissed the top of her head.  ‘Good luck.’

Micaela stared up at him aghast.  No one had ever shown her such affection before.  She was overcome with emotion, and as her eyes welled up with tears, she hugged the man fiercely.

‘Thank you Godric,’ she whispered into his chest.  He patted her head.

‘Oh, and one more thing,’ he said, as she let him go regretfully.  ‘Perhaps, you should call me Professor Gryffindor from now on.  Or Headmaster.  Just not Godric.’

Micaela nodded sheepishly.

‘Good luck,’ he said again, and then he was gone.

Micaela watched in fascination as students began pouring onto the platform, all looking a bit dazed and confused, especially the young ones.  All the families looked relatively normal, most were even dressed like….(what did Godric call them?)…Muggles.  The women wore long dresses or skirts, just like her mother had.  Yet, her mother had never kissed her farewell as these women did.  She watched the open displays of affection in wonder.     

Micaela did notice, however, that many trunks seemed to be floating through the air, and there were hundreds of owls in cages tied to the tops of stacks of parcels.  She even saw some of the older children openly using their wands to perform magic!
Godric had made it clear to her she was not allowed to use her wand until she got to school.  That hadn’t stopped her from attempting a few wandless spells out of her books.  She had read those text books back to front, sometimes up until midnight, while she had been staying at the Leaky Cauldron.  

She heard a small cough and looked up nervously.  An extremely short, tiny girl stood at the foot of Micaela's carriage. 

‘Can…can…can I?’ she gestured toward the seat opposite Micaela.  Micaela smiled and nodded as the nervous girl took a seat on the very edge of the bench.  

‘I’m Micaela,’ she said as a welcome to the awkward silence that had pursued the girl’s entrance.  ‘This is my first year at Hogwarts.’

The strange girl nodded and looked away out the window.  Micaela, astonished at her rudeness, sat back in her seat and observed the girl with a slightly open mouth.

She had mousy-brown hair that was pulled back tightly into a ponytail.  She had large, white teeth and a thick bottom lip that protruded slightly.  Her eyes were hazel and her lashes looked nearly two inches long.  

The girl caught Micaela’s eye and looked away quickly.  

‘What is your name?’ Micaela asked as kindly as she could.  

The girl’s eyes widened and she looked up at Micaela in wonder, as though such a question was completely foreign to her.

‘Carina,’ she barely whispered.  Now she was the one staring, and Micaela shifted herself uncertainly.  ‘I’m first year too.’

‘Oh, that’s great!’  

Silence ensued.  There was a small knock on the open door of the carriage and Micaela looked up at the distraction gratefully.  The blonde boy from the uniform shop was standing there, his crooked smile plastered on his face.

‘Micaela, right?’ he asked, leaning against the wall of the carriage.

‘Yes,’ Micaela blushed.  ‘Zach, right?’

He nodded and took a seat next to Carina, who pointedly ignored him and turned to look out the window.  Zach gave Micaela a bemused look and tilted his head at Carina in a question.

‘This is Carina,’ Micaela explained.  ‘She’s a first year too.’

‘Ah,’ Zach nodded knowingly.  ‘Carina Fretter?’

The girl looked up at her name and shrunk back in her seat, glaring at Zach. 

‘Yes,’ she said coldly.  ‘What’s it to you?’

‘Nothing,’ Zach said quickly.  ‘Your dad is a legend.’

‘So I’ve heard,’ she brought her knees up on the chair and hugged them around herself, then turned to look out the window again.

‘Who is your father?’ Micaela asked, thoroughly confused.

‘Argh! Can I never escape it!’ Carina jumped to her feet, grabbed her trunk and threw open the compartment door.  ‘You people make me feel so claustrophobic!’

Then, she was gone.  Zach started laughing and Micaela was stunned.

‘What was that all about?’ 

‘Her dad is a huge Quidditch player, probably gets really annoying, but still…’ he looked out the compartment door, where she had disappeared, and started laughing again. He shook his head disbelievingly.  ‘What a character.’

‘Quidditch?’  Micaela had never heard of that before, she leaned forward, trying to make sense of the whole situation.

‘Yeah,’ Zach said, wiping the tears from his eyes.  When he looked up and saw Micaela still looking confused he exclaimed, ‘What?  You don’t know what Quidditch is?’

Micaela blushed, offended, and she stuck out her chin stubbornly.  ‘No.’ 

‘Wow!  You haven’t lived!  Where have you been?’ he stared at her agape.  Seeing he had offended her, he quickly explained, ‘Well, I suppose not every wizard family follows Quidditch, but still.  It’s a sport, you see.  Played on broomsticks…..’

‘Broomsticks?’ Micaela laughed.  ‘Do you just stick them between your legs and run about?’

Zach stared at her, his mouth wide open as she laughed hysterically.  

‘What?’ she said, feeling awkward, when she caught his astonished eyes.

‘You are insane!  Who are your parents?’

Micaela’s eyes darkened and a lump formed in her throat at the thought of her parents.  She turned away and looked out the window, trying to hold back the tears that were hopelessly fighting their way out her eyes.

Zach ran his fingers through his hair awkwardly and jumped onto the seat next to her.

‘Look, I didn’t mean…I mean I’ve just never met someone who doesn’t know….I’m sorry,’ he offered feebly.

Micaela sniffed.  Zach put his hand on her shoulder uncertainly.  She turned and looked at him and he immediately pulled it away.

‘Let’s try this again, ok?’ He held out his hand and puffed out his chest in mock formality.  ‘I’m Zachary.  How about you?’

‘Micaela Long,’ she laughed tearily and took his hand.  ‘How do you do?’

‘Very ill, Miss Long.  For you see, I have offended a very close friend of mine,’ his eyes twinkled with mirth.

‘Friend?’ Micaela asked hopefully.

‘Yes.  And I’m also nearly wet with nervousness,’ Micaela laughed harder at this.

‘Why are you nervous?’ 

‘Sorting,’ Zach shrugged.


‘You know, into houses.  My Uncle wants me in Slytherin, and I’…how do you put this?  Freaked out I won’t be.  Lots of pressure today.’

‘Is Slytherin a good house?  How do you get put into houses?’ Micaela asked, concerned for herself now.

‘Well, Slytherin is apparently ‘the best’.  But, uh, there are three other houses too.  Hufflepuff, for peacemakers really, Ravenclaw, for the ones with all the brains, and Gryffindor, for courageous souls,’ Zach laughed.  ‘Anyway, you put on a hat and it decides.’

‘A hat decides which house you’re in?’ Micaela laughed, thinking he was joking.

‘Well, it’s enchanted, I mean,’ Zach smiled as she started laughing again.  ‘What?’

‘Nothing,’ Micaela looked thoughtful for a bit.  ‘I wonder which one I’ll be in?’ 

‘Hope your in Slytherin with me, it would make it a hell of a lot nicer,’ Micaela seemed to get lost in Zach’s blue eyes as they twinkled merrily. 

‘So do I.’

(a/n:  Hope you like!  Please REVIEW!)

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