Crystal Reed imagined as Elisa Thompson

- Chapter image by me



When I saw you on that stage,
I shivered with the look you gave
Don't you hear that rhythm, can you show me how we can escape?

- Shine, Years and Years






4.26 am, the alarm clock on my bedside table read. I sighed heavily, and turned around in my bed for what felt like the gazillionth time this night.


Tonight, August had finally ended, September had come. And with the ninth month, so had my first day at Hogwarts. Attending school and spending all year with magical peers from all over the country, not being able to hide behind Polyjuice Potion. The reality of it all had set in, and it terrified me to death.


What if I don’t fit in, and everyone thinks I’m a spoilt, home-schooled brat? Or what if the level of the French equivalent of O.W.L.s is much lower than in Britain, and I fail all my classes? What if the professors are as evil as Max claims them to be? Oh no, or what if the bleeding prophecy contains some truth after all? Worse still, what if my mother manages to break out and finds me?


This maelstrom of questions in my head had kept me from sleep all night, and after trying to will myself to sleep once more, I gave up. Kicking off the covers, I quietly got up to go get some pumpkin juice in the kitchen downstairs.


Coming down the stairs, I noticed I wasn’t the only one still awake.


Hi Dad,” I said walking over to the kitchen table and taking a seat next to him. “Why are you still up?


Night shift at the hospital”, he answered with a tired voice, passing me his glass of juice.


I nodded in understanding, then took a swig, enjoying the deliciously sweet orange liquid.


What about you,  love?” he asked, eyeing me, “can’t sleep?”


Dad is the only person in the whole wide world I let call me anything other than my name. I set the glass down, thinking of my response for a while.


I’m… not entirely sure going to Hogwarts is a good idea.”


Nonsense, it’s all you’ve talked about since June! In fact, it’s all you’ve ever wanted!”


But Dad, what if she finds me?” I asked, trying to keep the stress I felt in every fiber of my body out of my voice.


I obviously failed, because Dad grasped my left hand and squeezed it softly.


Elisabeth, your mother is locked away now, she can’t hurt us anymore. She can’t hurt anyone anymore. You are going to have a great year. Extraordinary normal, I dare say”, he winked.


Are you sure?” I said in a small voice.


Positive. If not, you write me, and I’ll get Tori to pick you up within an hour. I will even drag old Monsieur Meunier to Britain if you want me to.”


I chuckled at the thought of the unnaturally chauvinistic French Ministry appointed teacher, trying to survive in any other place than France.


Now go to bed, darling. Still a couple of hours to catch some sleep.”


Thanks Dad,” I said, pecking him on the cheek before heading for the stairs again.


You’ll do great, Elisa. You always do.” he called after me and I couldn’t help but smile, because I knew he’d always be there for me.





I stepped onto Platform 9 and ¾ at exactly 10h30, courtesy to Julie’s infallible punctuality. The steam coming from the already hooting Hogwarts Express engine temporarily clouded my vision, but when it cleared up a bit, last night’s stage-fright came rushing back in less than a nano-second. The platform was filled with students. Trying to calm their owls or cats, talking to friends they had probably made during their first year already, levitating their enormous suitcases on the train, kissing their perfectly sane mothers goodbye, …


Elisa, move!”


Julie’s cry snapped me out of the upcoming panic attack, just in time to avert colliding with Max and his luggage cart, as he came running through the brick wall that hid the platform from Muggle eyes.


Alright, E?” he said, with an encouraging smile.


I slowly blew out breath I didn’t know I was holding, then nodded firmly, tentatively returning his smile.


See you later, yeah?” he said, quickly squeezing my elbow before heading off to join a group of gangly looking boys, trooping together around what appeared to be a vintage Nimbus broomstick.


After that, I just followed Julie around. Navigating our way between the steadily growing groups of students and families on the platform, levitating our suitcases through the narrow hallway of the Express, finding an empty compartment at the rear end of the train.


Around noon, well after the train had left London’s King Cross, a foul smell came creeping through the closed door. Not long after, first Matteo and then Daniel joined us, the latter quickly shutting the door after stepping into our compartment. Just as well, because the terrible stench coming from the hallway about tripled in the mere seconds the boys needed to open and close the door after them.


“Nothing better than a nice load of Dungbombs to start off our last year with,” Matt sighed before happily plopping down next to Julie and planting a quick kiss on her cheek.


You’d think those Huffs would’ve learned not to accept any gifts from us by now” Dan grinned before sitting down next to me.


Julie shook her head and wrinkled her nose, not entirely in disapproval however, before gesturing towards me.


Boys, meet my cousin, Elisa Thompson”, and  both their attention promptly shifted towards me.


Going through introductions, again I might add, a certain thrill filled my body at using my own clean London accent and, more importantly, at using my own name outside my family for the first time since, well, ever.


So how come you’re only now starting at Hogwarts then?” Daniel asked.


Home-schooled in Northern France until now”,  I answered almost mechanically, “but the Ministry recently ratified new legislation, obliging magical students to take their N.E.W.T.s  and the two years leading up to them at an officially recognized institution.


This was all technically true. My French private teacher, Monsieur Meunier, had taught me everything a sixteen-year-old witch like myself ought to know, and more. Also, there really was a Ministerial Decree only recently enacted stating that N.E.W.T. students should be enrolled in a magical school of some sort. This Decree however, had been specifically enacted for me. It provided me with a credible background story that didn’t start with ‘I have this mental mother who has been out to get me all my life, but was finally captured and put away in Azkaban last June’.


Bummer”, Dan said “France sounds nice from what I’ve heard.”


Quidditch in Northern France is downright pitiful though,” Matteo joined in. “You’d think a city such as Paris would be able to get a decent team together. The St. Germain’s Guêpes-“


“Happens to be the greatest team this planet ever did see,” a blonde-haired boy entering the compartment and taking the seat next to Daniel interrupted.


“Godric, not this again.” Julie sighed, clearly having had to endure the following discussion multiple times already.


“Even godawful Marbeilla’s team is better than Paris’s,” Matt replied.


“Right, if you sissy boys want another go at ‘My-team-is-better-than-yours’, I’m heading out. Head Girl duties are calling anyway. Please do try not to bore my cousin to death while I’m away.” Jules said loudly enough to drown out the Guêpes’ supporter’s reply.


After casting a quick Bubble-Head Charm on herself to keep the stench that still filled the hallway at bay, she winked at me and then swiftly stepped out.


Well shit. There went my only friend, leaving me to fend for myself surrounded by strangers. 


C’mon Elisa,” I silently braced myself, “ you wanted this, just act normal and stick to the story.”


“Cousin?” the blonde said confused, after Jules had closed the door behind her.


He looked around the compartment and his eyes settled on me.


“Elisa Thompson”, I said in response, giving him a small wave, “said cousin.”


“Yeah, we found you a demi-Frenchie like yourself, Louis.” Dan added while folding his arms behind his head.


The rest of the train ride passed reasonably uneventful. Chatting some about ‘la douce France’ with Louis, who predictably turned out to be a member of the gigantic Weasley-Potter clan. Then some with Daniel, who wore an Arctic Monkeys shirt, which happens to be my favourite Muggle band. Munching away on a Chocolate Frog Julie had thrown at me when she’d come back in, different landscapes flashing by. And by the time the skies outside had grown dark and even Matt’s and Louis’s endless banter had faded, my nerves had made room for excitement,  the likes of which I had only felt the night of the storm.


I was ready.





Julie was the first to dismount the carriage. She did so carefully, in order not to get mud on the wine-red ballerinas on her feet. This in sharp contrast with her cousin, who followed Julie by unceremoniously jumping out, landing lightly on her worn-out Vans. Dan was pushed out, either by Matt or Louis, or both.


So,” Matt said while crawling out lastly, “let’s get you Sorted, Frenchie.”


Yes,” Julie agreed while linking her arm with Elisa’s, “let’s!”


She led Elisa up the stairs, through the enormous open doors, inside the castle, and she could not help but feel her heart swell in anticipation. Not only had she been chosen Head Girl this last year at Hogwarts, not only were she and Matt doing better than ever, and not only had Dan come up with some truly fantastic songs over the summer, but Elisa was finally here to share all upcoming adventures and experiences with.


Miss Hastings, and I presume Miss Thompson?” Julie heard a squeaky high-pitched voice say.


Good evening, Professor Flitwick,” she all but sang in response, “how do you do?” she then added serenely after succeeding in hiding her excitement.


Wonderful, just wonderful, thank you,” the tiny teacher squealed back. 


Now, Ms. Thompson,” he turned to Elisa, “you are to be sorted before our fresh boatload of first years arrive. Our Headmistress will read the concerning Ministerial Decree out loud, and then you can step forward. For the moment being, I advise you to wait inside the Great Hall, to the left of the Professors’ table. I’m certain your cousin will be kind enough to lead the way. Good luck, dear girl!”


Elisa mumbled a quick “thank you, professor”, but Flitwick’s little legs had already carried him off.


The cousins re-looped their arms, entering the Great Hall, and entering a new year at Hogwarts’s School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.





Walking down the Great Hall, towards the Slytherin table, Alex watched his fellow seventh-year Theo Nott II hopelessly try to chat up some fit-looking Ravenclaw girls. He didn’t blame the birds for wrinkling their pretty noses and hurrying towards their House table, for Theo Nott was quite possibly the most disgusting creature Alex ever did meet. He looked alright on the outside, but as soon as he opened his mouth, his stupidity and plain vulgarity made one dread having to spend another second in his repulsive presence.


Thinking of unwanted Notts, Alex did nothing to hide his annoyance when Marissa went to sit directly across from him. They had made out some in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express earlier, but he had had to break things off when Marissa started moaning she loved him. Come to think of it, she’d done that a lot lately. It was beyond Alex why she would think she was anything but a good shag to him, as he certainly hadn’t treated her as anything more.


As the rest of Hogwarts’s students slowly but steadily found a seat at their corresponding House tables, Alex was starting to realize he’d been foolish to think seventh year would be a good one. He’d hoped things would get better with his idiotic brother graduated and gone, but that didn’t take away all the other utter losers surrounding him.


What’s wrong, babe?” Marissa asked in her horrid nasal voice, rubbing her leg up and down his under the table.


Nothing ever fucking happens around here”, he answered, briskly moving his leg away.


She pouted, about to say something, but was interrupted by the sound of McGonagall ticking a fork against her glass, demanding the student body’s attention.


Good-evening,” the ancient Headmistress started, “and welcome to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Our first years will arrive shortly, and I will save my full word of welcome for after their Sorting. However, it is now my duty to inform you of this year’s new ministerial educational decree. Please listen closely.”


She then emerged into reading some piece of legislation Alex soon stopped paying attention to, after hearing it only applied to home-schooled students. Thank Merlin he wasn’t home-schooled, Alex thought. Hogwarts might be plain boring most of the time, it still was better than having to spend all year at the Greengrasses’ manor. His father’s constant scrutiny, his mother’s incessant nagging and lately Liam’s general presence, were enough to drive anyone utterly mad. Summer was more than enough, thank you very much.


It thus is my profound pleasure to introduce you to Elisabeth Thompson, who will join the current sixth-formers”, McGonagall concluded her speech, turning her attention to somewhere left of the teacher’s table.


Two seconds later, a girl around Alex’s age emerged from the direction McGonagall had her head turned to. She climbed the stage, her long legs carrying her up the short stairs two steps at a time, and sat down on the stool that was usually only used for Sorting measly looking first years.


Fresh meat”, Theo whispered loudly, eyeing the girl and elbowing Alex in the ribs.


What a freak,” Marissa added.


Alex ignored them both, watching McGonagall plant the Sorting Hat on the girl’s soft brown curls. He narrowed his eyes, trying to get a better look. Had he met her before?


She better not be a Slytherin,” some sixth year girl sitting next to Marissa said, “I don’t share my dorm with freak-shows.


RAVENCLAW!”, the hat proclaimed.


Whilst the House table directly next to his erupted in loud cheers and catcalls, Alex let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding, feeling oddly relieved for the girl. There was no way she would’ve survived the hyenas’ den that was Slytherin House.




AN: Thanks for reading, and as always, reviews are very much appreciated! - QR



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