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Pop!......Pop!.......Pop!........Pop!......Pop! 

 

“Ruby will you stop it! Just for once give it a break! Your Hogwarts letter is going to come no matter how many times you do that!”

 

“Do what?” Pop! “And how many times do i have to tell you!!!!”  I can feel my hair turning bright red. “Don’t.” Pop! “Call.” Pop! “Me.” Pop! “Ruby!!!!! My name is Fox. Fox!! F. O. X!!” POP!

 

“Uhg! Ok so-ry, Fox. And for the last time STOP DOING THAT!!” she says, jabbing a finger at my mouth, where I am currently blowing very loud bubbles out of my muggle chewing gum. 

 

“No can do, sis! Nervous habit, if I don't do this I'll explode!” I bring my hands apart from each other and widen my eyes, “BOOM!” I clap my hands together, “Just. Like. That.” She rolls her eyes and continues searching through her patients' forms. She, my 27 year old sister who I live with, is having a “soggy weekend” as she calls it, which is reasonable since she does tend to materialize a lot more water without noticing when she has extra work on the weekends. She works as a healer at Saint Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies (or something like that) so naturally she has a lot of files to go through and papers to fill out.

 

“Delivery for you Mizzzz. RedFox.” Lyle, my sister's boyfriend, says as he hands me a manilla envelope. Oh my gosh! This is it! This is the letter I’ve been blowing gum for, for the past hour!!! I yank the envelope out of Lyle’s grip and tear it open.


 

To Miss. Ruby Roxanne Faller-Redfox, FaithHouse, second floor, third bedroom to the right.


 

Dear Miss. Faller-RedFox, 

 

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The start of term begins on September first. Please be at platform 9 ¾ precisely at 11:00 on that day, to board the Hogwarts express. 

 

First years will need to collect all their robes, school supplies and wand at Diagon Alley, prior to the start of term. 

 

Students may also bring one owl, toad, or cat to school. 

 

A reminder that first years are not allowed their own brooms.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Deputy headmistress, Professor Minerva McGonagall.


 

Yes! Yes! Yes! Wait…….

 

“Tomorrow is September first! Surely they wouldn’t send the letters one day before term starts?! Care to explain?!” I say, my eyes are narrowed in suspicion and my arms are crossed over my chest, my eyebrow is raised and my hair is probably flaming red, I can feel my eyes changing color too. Lyle and Cam (my sister) look at each other and smile, a really, annoying smile. 

 

“We thought it would be a little fun to deprive you of your letter for, say…...a couple weeks?” Cam says an evil smile playing on her lips. I fling a pillow at her head. She and Lyle are cracking up.

 

“Caaaam!!! How could you do this!!?? You’re a Hufflepuff for god’s sake!! And you two Lyle!!!!” I throw my arms up in frustration. “We need to go to Diagon Alley NOW! I’m going to get my sweatshirt!!” I hop off the couch and head to the stairs. “Uhg!! I hate you Camelia Bell Faller-BlueBird!!!” I call as I stomp up the stairs. 

 

“Love you too.” she calls after me. 


 

***

 

We apparate to Diagon Alley, Lyle has work to do for the ministry (he’s an auror) so it’s just Cam and I, but the she says, “I’m really sorry I wish I could shop with you, it is your first time, after all, but I do have to go home and finish filling out those forms. I really am sorry Ru- sorry, Fox.” My heart sinks a bit, I know Cam is a really busy person and she has already raised me since I was 1 and she was 17 all by herself, but I was kind of hoping she would shop with me. Cam and I definitely have more of a sister-sister relationship but with the 16 years apart thing it’s a little odd. Sometimes I feel like she is my mother’s younger sister, my aunt. Cam must have noticed the slight sorrow on my face because she adds, “Here, take this.” she hands me a whole bag of extra money, “Get yourself an early birthday present, from Lyle and I. Will you be ok? The Alley really isn’t that big, that’s Gringotts the bank down there, here’s your key; and not far from there is Flourish and Bolts, get your books; Olivander’s wand shop is just next to that; and Madam Malkins, for robes is just to our right. Once you're done go to the Leaky Cauldron and use the fireplace there, to come home. If you need any help finding anything ask any shopkeeper, they'll know. Okay? Have a great time, Fox. If you get hungry don’t hesitate to buy yourself some lunch or an ice cream.” and in a POP! She’s gone. 

 

I look down at my list. First stop, Gringotts. I walk through the crowd and into Gringotts. The goblins are busy helping a boy with messy black hair and ragged clothes who looks about my age and next to him is a huge man, who looks half-giant, he has a big beard and looks about 7 feet tall. “How can I help you miss?” the goblin at the counter asks.

 

“Erm..What. Oh! Yeah!” I say, my head snapping away from the boy and half-giant who have now moved aside so I have a clear view of the goblin sitting in front of me. “I wish to make a withdrawal.”

 

“Very well Miss, and what is your name?” the goblin asks looking at me skeptically, probably because my hair just went from pitch black to a warm coffee color. The boy with black hair is also looking at me weirdly, muggle-born I guess. But then why does he have a half-giant with him?....... “Your name, Miss?” the goblin says again this time slightly more irritated. 

 

“Right. Sorry, sir. Ruby RedFox” I say.

 

“Faller-RedFox?! The thing those wizards call red degree elementalists?” the goblin responds with a snort.

 

“I am not a thing! But, Yes. Faller-RedFox! Elementalist.” I say, clicking on the lighter and letting the fire spread and then molding it into a ball on my special fingerless gloves. I don’t need my gloves but for now it is much easier to maintain control with them. When I’m older I will be able to create and control my fire without gloves and my fire will become deadly at some point, but right now my fire just feels like a warm blanket if it touches you. “Now, may I enter my vault!?” I ask the goblin still annoyed about being called a “thing”. 

 

“Very well, if you three,” the goblin says nodding towards me, the half-giant, and the black haired boy, “would please follow Griphook.” the goblin finishes, sending me a nasty glare. It is known that goblins don’t like wizard powers such as animagus, metamorphmagus, and elementalist, because they think if wizards get too powerful they will take over. 

 

“How did you do that?” the boy says once we are seated in the cart that will take us to our vaults. 

 

“Do what?” I ask, not sure if he means the fire or the changing hair color thing.

 

“Control that fire, and change your hair color!” he says in a somewhat scared, confused, and impressed voice. 

 

“Well, I’m a red degree elementalist, the last on the planet, so ultimately I can create and control a big deadly fire. But for now I can only control a small fire, that does nothing more than warm someone. See?” I say, lighting my palms and placing the fire on his arm, then snapping to retract it. He flinches at first but then calms down when he realizes the fire really only is warming. “I presume you don’t know what an elementalist is? Well, an elementalist is a witch or wizard who has the ability to control a specific natural element. A green degree elementalist is the least dangerous and controls earth which really only makes them one with nature, meaning they can talk to animals are most often also naturally born animagi, meaning they can take the shape of a particular animal themselves. A white degree elementalist is the next to least dangerous and control’s wind, they can make wind blow in the direction they want and if they are powerful enough conjure up a tornado, but that is very, very, rare. A blue degree elementalist is the second to most dangerous elementalist, control’s water, can cause floods, you get it, right? Lastly there are red degree elementalists, me, who control fire, they can make things burn in a flick of a wrist If they are powerful enough. All elementalists descend from Laura RedFly (a red degree)  and Jonathan BlueHorse (a blue degree), which is why all elementalists last names are not the last names of their fathers but a name that is given to them which has first, their degree, Red, and then an animal the parents either want the child to resemble, or feel the child already does resemble, Fox. If I were not an elementalist my last name would be Faller that is why my name is Ruby Roxanne Faller-RedFox. I get my elemental powers from My mother, she was also red degree.” I say suddenly saddening at the mention of my mother. I can tell the boy wants to ask more about my family but he doesn’t, I am grateful for that. He also seems a little flustered. Maybe I gave him too much information? 

 

“Wow. Um, cool. And I’m guessing the hair changing thing is also another rare wizard power?” he says.

 

“Yup. Restricted Metamorphmagus I can change my hair and eye color neutral colors, black, white, blond, brown, tan, and different shades of red. I can also do this,” I say and change into a fox and then back to a human. 

 

“So you’re an animagu? Animaggi? No, anima… oh, you know what, too then? Wow magic is so cool!” he says.

 

“So you are a muggle-born then?” I ask.

 

“Oh, no! ‘Arry ‘eer is an ‘alfblood” the half-giant who hasn’t spoken this entire time says. 

 

“Yeah, I just had no idea I was a wizard until yesterday.” Harry says. “I guess i never really introduced myself, I’m Harry Potter.”

 

I snort, “Sorry I just expected to meet a less clueless Harry Potter, but I guess when you survived that curse authorities would have wanted you to keep away from the wizarding world.” Harry seems slightly offended and confused by my words.

 

“This is your vault Miss. RedFox.” Griphook, the goblin driving the cart says. 

 

“Well, gotta go, Potter.” I say as I step out of the cart. “See you at hogwarts!” and with that I grab my key and open my vault. 


 

***

 

After collecting my money from Gringotts I head down the Alley towards Olivander’s. “Hello? Hello? Mr. Ollivander?!” I call into the dark and shop. There are shelves upon shelves of boxes piled behind a desk in the middle of the room and not a soul in sight. 

 

“Ah, Miss. RedFox.” Olivander calls, still hidden from my view. “I was wondering when I would see you, yes indeed. I have been keeping this very special wand I made, just for you.” he continues in a mysterious voice, stepping out from behind one of the shelves. “Like your ancestors and sister before you, I had to make your wand out of uncommon wand ingredients. Yes I remember quite well, your sisters, 15 inches, Blueberry bush wood and Blue Jay feather. Her degree name is BlueBird, isn’t it?” Mr. Olivander climbs a ladder to the highest shelf, it has to be at least 10 feet high. He picks up a small but long and lean, red box. “The RedFox wand.” he says, climbing down the ladder. “14 ⅓ inches, cherry blossom tree and fox tail.” he hands me the box. “This has to work, I spent years perfecting it based on what I knew about your powers. The ingredients were very difficult to collect. If this doesn’t work we can try some of the normal ones. But otherwise you will have to wait at least a year. Then, I can make either an Apple wood, or a cherry tree wand. The only other wands that work with red degree elementalists. So try your best. Make this work.” he says in a mysterious voice that is most definitely sending shivers down my spine. 

 

Gently I take the wand out of the box. It is Beautiful! There is a fox carved into the wood at the handle, the tail of the fox winds up the wand, then splits and covers the top of the wand in a way that very much resembles a flame of fire. The wand is a soft brown color of the trunk of a cherry blossom tree. But has a tint of red, probably from the foxtail core. I take a deep breath, “Ok. I’m ready.” I say lifting the wand ever so slightly. 

 

“Good. Raise your wand with confidence, point it in front of you, and-” Olivander begins but it’s too late my wand is raised high in the air and is sending off huge flaming red fireworks. I watch as the tip of my wand realises firework after firework. Then, watch the flaming ashes fall to the ground. “Good! Good! Magnificent! Now command it to stop. See if it listens!!” Olivander yells over the BANGs erupting out of my wand. 

 

“STOP!” I yell and do a swirling motion for the fun of it. Miraculously, it stops. Olivander smiles.

 

“There is no doubt, you will do magnificent things with this wand my dear, RedFox.” Olivander says, taking my wand and placing it gently back into the red velvet box. “How may I help you, Narcissa? Draco? Lucius?” Olivander says, this time addressing a family that I didn’t notice was behind me. 

 

I spin my head around, to find a family of platinum blond people with stiff, but amazed faces behind me. Malfoys. My sister has told me about them. They used to be friends with my mother even though she was a Gryffindor, in their school days. But then they became Death Eaters, and tried to persuade my mother to join them. Voldemort wanted my mother’s powers on his side. But when she wouldn't join him. He killed her, my dad, and my brothers (one who was a white degree elementalist and the other who was a green degree elementalist and animagus). They were both 15 when they died. My sister was supposed to die too, being a blue degree and 17. But she survived and so did I, who was supposed to be taken to a Death Eater family to grow up with, since I was only 1. But that didn’t happen. My sister and I got away. She had just finished Hogwarts and was training to be a healer, so she could take care of me since she was a legal adult. I did have a godfather, but he didn’t want me for some selfish reason. My sister won’t say why or who, but she said it was only to protect me. I don’t believe that. 

 

Anyways back to the Malfoys who are staring at me intently. They know I know who they are and what they did. They probably expect me to rush over and slit their throats, but I pity the Malfoys. I mean, Lucius is one nasty piece of work, but he must have some good in him if Narcissa sticks with him. I know for a fact that Narcissa is a very talented witch. She just doesn’t show it. And Draco has no choice, he is being brought up with the pureblood beliefs and Death Eater background. If he disobeys, he will probably be starved or something. I wouldn’t know. My background is very diverse, you could say. We have ancestors from all houses. Some who even used their power for the lesser bad (that’s what I call the opposite of the greater good, even though I know it doesn’t make any sense) and became Death Eaters. My sister even says I am stubborn, persistent, and feisty, she thinks I will be put in Slytherin. I think it would be interesting to be put in Slytherin. I have always wondered what Slytherins are like on the inside. 

 

“Good afternoon.” I say walking up to the Malfoys and sticking my hand out for shaking. “Ruby RedFox. But you can call me Fox, I prefer that.” I say in a tone I am trying to make sound somewhat frightening and warm, which is proving very difficult. 

 

I realize I came across as too warm when their faces relax a bit, so I turn my eyes a deep red, and Narcissa and Draco stiffen again for a second fright flashes across their face. But Lucius just flinches then smiles a malicious smile and says, “Lucius Malfoy.” and firmly shakes my hand. “This is my wife Narcissa, and this is Draco, he will be in your year at hogwarts.” 

 

Narcissa smiles, a true smile, that reaches her eyes. I know she can see my mother in me. “Hello dear.” she says, and shakes my hand softly. I smile back. I don’t know what, but there is something in her that draws me to her. She does have a very motherly touch. 

 

“Draco. Pleasure.” they boy says, looking me up and down with narrow eyes. He is tall, really tall, and wears a smirk that is soft but judgmental, a cross between his mother and father. 

 

I raise my eyebrows at him. “Right. Well, I should be off now. Nice to meet you.” I say and change into a fox. I laugh at the surprised look on Draco’s face, which comes out more as a fox’s snicker and trot out the door with my nose tilted up in an obnoxious manor. 


 

***

After collecting my books and robes I head to the ice cream parlor. “One scoop of Gryffindor concoction ice cream please.” I say to the witch at the counter. The Gryffindor concoction is my favorite because it is cherry and butterbeer flavor and I absolutely adore cherries! I can’t live without them, and who doesn’t like butterbeer! I also like the colors! My favorite color is red. I pretty much only wear red and neutral colors (black, white, tan, cream, brown, gray, ect..). But I guess I will have to wear green if I get into Slytherin. I don’t hate green but it’s not my favorite. “Oh! Could I also have a jar of cocktail cherries?” the witch looks at me funny 

funny, but nonetheless hands me my ice cream and cherries.  “Thanks.” I say. I asked for the cherries because I want to bring a stash to Hogwarts just in case they don’t have any there.

 

“Cough up.” she says sticking her hand out. She is a young witch of around 20 with big blue eyes and dirty blonde that hangs at her waist. I pay for my ice cream and cherries with some of the money Cam gave me for my birthday, and go sit outside. I flip open Hogwarts; A History and start reading. 

 

“It’s good, isn’t it?” a girl with bushy brow hair says as she sits next to me, licking a chocolate mint ice cream. “I finished it just now. Wanted to do a bit of reading up about Hogwarts before I went there. Read it in only an hour. Not very long is it?” she says in a bit of a know-it-all tone, that I don’t particularly like but I brush it off, which is not something I normally do. “I was most surprised when I got my Hogwarts letter, pleasantly, of course. I’m what you call a muggle-born, aren’t I? My parents are just right there.” she points in the direction of a man and women staring amused at the Alley. “Where are yours?” she licks her ice cream again. I am saddened at the mention of my parents.

 

“Oh, they're not here. They were killed when I was only one by Death Eaters. My brothers were too. They were only 15. It’s just my sister and I now, and her boyfriend Lyle. She’s 27. She has taken care of me since I was one.” I am about to explain what Death Eaters are, since she is a muggle-born. But there is no need.

 

“Oh! That’s dreadful! I am so sorry. It must have been difficult for you. After all, you probably didn’t even know your parents well. Death Eaters, you say? I’ve read about them. They worked for He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, the darkest wizard of all time who was defeated 10 years ago by a small boy named Harry Potter, who was the only one who ever survived the killing curse?” she says all in one breath. “Yes, I’ve heard of him. Awful really. Good thing he’s dead. What did you say your name was? I’m Hermione, Hermione Granger.”

 

I am shocked by how much this girl knows about the wizarding world! “Yes, yes that’s quite right, everything, everything you just said, is correct. Except for the fact that Voldemort is dead, he’s not. He’ll come back.” to my surprise she doesn’t flinch at my words, probably because she’s not used to the taboo on Voldemort. Instead she gives me a interested look. “You’re a bit of a know-it-all, you know that?” I say, but immediately feel bad when her head drops. “No, no not in a bad way! It’s good! Nice, that you know so much!” I quickly correct myself, even though I see a way that she could become very annoying. “I’m Ruby RedFox, but you can call me Fox.” I say. 

 

“RedFox! I’ve read about you in A History Of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot. You’re a red degree elementalist, the last on the planet, and a metamorphmagus and animagus as well! How very fascinating!” she says. “Can you show me something? Like, you know, do it?” she asks, putting an emphasis on ‘it’ and sitting up straighter. “Mum! Dad! This is the girl I was telling you about! Come look at what she can do!” Hermione calls her parents. Great, just what I need, an audience. Mr. and Mrs. Granger come over and look at me expectantly. I sigh, and turn my hair and eyes all the colors they’ll turn. Then light my gloves, form a ball of fire, then blow it into the shape of two figures, me and Hermione. Then, I snap my fingers to retract the fire and turn into a fox, then back into a human. 

 

“Wow! Incredible!” all three Granger exclaim.

 

“I’m Jean Granger, this is William, and you’ve met Hermione.” Hermione’s mum says. 

 

“Fox.” I say sticking my hand out. “It’s a pleasure to meet you  Mr. and Mrs. Granger.”

 

“Oh, please! No need for formalities! William and Jean will do!” William says. 

 

“Well then, Dorothy and William it is! I must go to the pet shop now, though. I’ll see you on the train Hermione!” I say then, get up and walk towards Magical Menagerie.  

 

“Bye!” Hermione calls.


 

***

 

At the pet shop I decide to use the leftover money Cam gave me for my birthday to buy a cat. I know owls are more useful. But I like cats better, I would buy a snake if I were allowed too or a phoenix, but I can’t, so I settle on a fat gray cat with dark gray stripes and big black eyes. I name him Mr. Gray Stripes, Stripie or Stripes for short (not very creative, I know). 

 

Then, I browse a jewelry shop, and buy a black and silver fox necklace, finishing off my birthday money.  I add that to my neck right above the R made of rubies, that was my mothers, and has been passed down to all red degree elementalists in my family. My sister has a B of sapphires. We also have the W of diamonds and the G of emeralds in our vault at Gringotts. 

 

I head to the Leaky Cauldron. “Excuse me, Mr. Where is the floo powder fireplace?” I ask a man in purple robes and a turban. 

 

“Ju-just ri-right there.” he points towards a huge fireplace at the back of the pub.

 

“Thank you sir.” I say and walk towards the fireplace. Stripie’s in his crate in one of my hands, and a small bag that Lyle charmed with an undetectable extension charm, that’s carrying all my school supplies in the other. I hop into the fireplace and grab a handful of floo powder and yell, “FaithHouse” as I drop the floo powder and the world starts spinning. 

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