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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. 

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