“Today’s the day,” I thought to myself as I was packing all the things I deemed necessary for my Hogwarts studies. And it turned out to be far more items than I initially thought. I guess one can never have too many notebooks. I assume I should also take some of my books, they might prove useful during my studies. Also, I shouldn’t forget the…suddenly I heard some sounds from downstairs. It appears as if someone is yelling. I guess I should check it out…
I silently exited my room and slowly went downstairs, careful not to make any loud noises. As I was approaching the living room, the sounds became louder and more comprehensive…they were arguing again…
“He is NOT going, end of discussion!” I heard my mum’s yelling voice thundering through the room.
“Dear, we talked about this already...” Dad was trying to calm her down. “Nothing bad will happen to him.”
“Nothing bad?! Nothing bad?!!!” She continued, “Did you forget what happened to our boy?”
“Of course I didn’t forget, how could I?” Dad replied, “But the situation with Dylan will be different, I am sure that Dumbledore will keep him away from trouble.”
“Dumbledore???” Mum reacted, “The same Dumbledore that signed Jacob’s expulsion papers? The same Dumbledore that made my life a living hell? Because of him, my boy is missing, he has gone for good, chasing some imaginary vaults and treasures...”
“Come on, you know he had no choice in the matter,” He tried to calm her down, “Besides, I don’t think those vaults are just a product of Jacob’s imagination. Even the Daily Prophet said...”
“The Daily Prophet? Are you still believing any of the nonsensical rubbish those heartless bastards are publishing? They used the situation with our boy to sell more papers, and in the process, they stained him for good. They stained the name of our entire family for good! They are the reason he ran away! What do you think will happen when Dylan arrives at Hogwarts? You think they will throw roses at him? No, it’s not gonna happen. I am sending him to Ilvermorny!”
“We can’t send him to America, and you know it. He has already been accepted at Hogwarts, and now’s too late to change things.” Dad said, “Besides, all the members of our family graduated from Hogwarts. Be reasonable, please. We discussed this already...”
“It’s just not fair! I don’t want to lose my boy… I cannot… They already took one child away from me, I can’t lose another...” She said with a sobbing voice. It’s one of the first times I’ve heard my mum cry.
“Don’t worry dear, everything will be fine.” He slowly embraced her, “Dylan is a strong lad, we won’t lose him.”
“How can you be so sure? What if he goes missing too? What if...”
“Because he is our son. He’s our blood. He won’t let us down, I know it!” He quickly interrupted her. “Now go get yourself ready, we should be leaving soon. I am pretty sure he is awake by now.”
That was my cue to go back to my room. I didn’t want them to know that I’ve been listening to their discussion. I quickly went back upstairs, trying my best not to make any loud noises that would alert them of my presence.
As soon as I got back into my room, I resumed packing my things. It wasn’t long until I heard footsteps approaching my room.
“Dylan, honey, are you awake?” I heard my mum’s gentle voice as she entered the room. “Oh, you’re already packing.”
“I wanted to have everything ready in time,” I said with a huge smile, trying to hide the fact that I’ve been eavesdropping them.
“How thoughtful of you!” She said with a soft, caring voice, full of warmth and love. She then approached and gave me a big hug.
“Come on, mum...” I said as I was trying to escape her grasp, “I have to finish packing, I don’t want to be late.”
“Here, let me help you then.” She replied and started organizing the things that still needed to be packed.
We spent the next hour packing things up and making sure that everything I’ll ever need for my Hogwarts life is inside the trunk. While doing so, she was explaining all the important things I need to remember. Frankly, she told me about those several times already in the past few weeks, but I listened to her regardless, attentively nodding every time she said something important.
“Are you two ready?” I heard Dad’s voice from the other side of the door. “Hogwarts express isn’t going to wait forever, you know...”
“We’ll be right there, dear,” mum answered, “Could you lend me a hand with the trunk, please?”
“Certainly,” he replied as he entered the room.
Everything was prepared. I was all ready to begin my Hogwarts life. All three of us exited the house and went to a car.
“That’s all set,” Dad said as he placed the trunk inside the car. “Let’s go, Hogwarts awaits it’s new best student!” He continued with a voice full of joy and enthusiasm.
It didn’t take us long until we arrived at the Leaky Cauldron. I remembered that one time I went here while Jacob was a student. It was a thrilling experience. Now all I can think about is how much I miss him. I looked at my mum. She was trying so hard to keep the smile on her face while explaining some things to me.
Once we finally entered the Diagon Alley, dad spoke to me, “We are going to take care of a few things at Gringotts while you get your books and a wand.”
“We’ll be back soon, don’t worry dear!” Mum added.
I watched them as they went away. Now, where should I start…
“Hi, I’m Rowan Khanna! Are you getting ready to start at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry too?” A sudden question interrupted my thoughts.
I turned around and saw a cheerful looking fellow smiling at me. He appears to be the same age as I am.
“Yes, but Diagon Alley is a bit confusing. I’m not sure where to start...” I answered. I knew that I need to get my books and a wand, but I forgot to ask mum where to go first.
“I can help!” He answered excitedly, “I’ve been reading Hogwarts: A History in anticipation of my first year, so I’m something of an expert on Hogwarts. You should start by finding all of the books you need at Flourish and Blotts!”
I took his advice and went to the bookstore. There were a lot of students browsing around. I took the list mum gave me and started gathering all the books that I need.
After I was done, I went back to meet Rowan. He genuinely seems like a nice and helpful fellow. I found him standing in front of Ollivanders.
“Thanks for your help, Rowan. I was able to get all of my books.” I said to him, appreciating his kindness.
“Cool! I realized I’m so excited for Hogwarts that I forgot to ask your name...” he replied.
“My name is Dylan Edwards,” I answered with a smile, trying to hide the fact that I was so deep in my thoughts that I forgot to even introduce myself properly.
“Pleasure to meet you, Dylan,” he replied politely.
“You too. I couldn’t be more excited to get to Hogwarts.”
“I know!” He added, “I haven’t stopped staring at my acceptance letter since it arrived. Can I see yours?”
I took the letter out of my robe and gave it to Rowan. He was reading it diligently. He then returned it to me with a smile.
“I already got my supplies, but my mum gave me just enough to buy something special for school. I want to let everyone at Hogwarts know that I’m a serious intellectual who is well on his way to becoming Head Boy. What do you think I should get, Dylan?” He asked.
After thinking for a while, I gave an answer, “How about a nice scarf?” I am pretty sure that a scarf would suit him nicely.
“Great idea! Scarves make anyone look scholarly.” He said with a lot of excitement. “While I get my clothes, you should get your wand from Ollivanders!”
Thankfully, the wand store was just behind us, so I didn’t have to look around much. Immediately upon entering, I was greeted by the shop owner.
“Hello...Garrick Ollivander is my name. Here to receive your first wand, yes?” He asked kindly as he introduced himself.
“I have just the thing. Applewood wand, dragon heartstring core, nine inches, rigid. Go on. Give it a twirl!” He said and gave me a wand to try it out.
I reluctantly took it from him and slowly waved it around. Much to my surprise, some pieces of paper from the nearby desk started flying around.
“Sorry about that!” I apologized as I returned the wand back to the store owner.
“It’s not your fault.” He kindly replied, “The wand chooses the wizard, and that is clearly not the wand for you.”
“I recall your brother exploded my favorite inkpot when he tried his first wand.” He chuckled.
“You knew my brother?” I asked surprised. I had no clue that Mr. Ollivander knew Jacob.
“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold. His was maple wood, dragon heartstring core, ten inches.” He proudly answered. “A fine wand. Shame they snapped it in half when he was expelled.”
“I understand that he ran away from home after being expelled, and has been missing ever since,” I added. Oh, Jacob, where did you go? I wish I could understand why you were so eager to pursue those vaults...
“That must have had a profound impact on you...” He noted.
“He loved us, and he loved Hogwarts. I just hope he’s ok...” I recalled. I wish he hadn’t left…
“Hmm...” he paused to think, “Sensitivity can be a great strength. I think I have just the wand for you...”
He then took another wand and offered it to me.
“Acacia wand, unicorn hair core, twelve inches, pliable.”
I took it and slowly waved it around. Then I felt a unique sensation. I could feel that this wand was more than just an object…like it has a mind of its own and I could sense the magic surging through it, connecting with me through my hand.
“Splendid!” He smiled, “I’ll be interested to see what path you choose...”
I thanked Mr. Ollivander for his kindness and patience and then I went back to Rowan. He was standing outside of the wand shop, waiting for me. He had a new scarf around his neck. Truth be told, it really suited him nicely.
“Hey, Dylan!” He shouted as soon as he saw me exiting the store, “How do you like my scarf?”
“It...suits you,” I answered honestly, “You’ll look like the smartest first-year at Hogwarts.”
“It was your suggestion! I’ll be coming to you for all of my future fashion advice,” he replied with a cheeky smile.
“Wait! Is that an acacia wand?!” He asked as soon as he noticed me putting it away.
“...Yes. How did you know?” I wondered. It looks like he knows a lot about wands.
“My family’s tree farm supplies wood for wands and brooms,” he proudly answered. “That’s why I love staying inside and reading. It keeps me from going outside and farming.”
I chuckled slightly when I heard that. So that’s why he knew.
“That, and the fact that I don’t have any friends...” He added with a bit of sadness in his voice.
“We can be friends...” I cheerfully said without hesitation. He seems like a nice person. I am sure he’d be a great friend.
“You don’t think I’m too weird? People usually think I’m too weird.” He asked with a bit of concern.
“People say the same thing about me,” I admitted.
“Why would anyone say that about you?” He gave me a confused look with that question.
“My brother is Jacob Edwards,” I said with a serious tone. I guess I should be honest from the start. It’s better if he finds out from me than from someone else.
“The same Jacob Edwards who was expelled from Hogwarts for breaking school rules in search of the fabled Cursed Vaults?!”
That was quite the shock. Apparently, he didn’t expect that. Oh well, I guess it will be hard to find some friends, given my brother’s reputation…
“That was a massive story in the Daily Prophet. Everyone at school will know about that.” He added.
“I know. And they’ll all think I’m weird.” I answered with a bit of fear in my voice. Stepping into the unknown kinda scares me. It is going to be difficult to pass unnoticed…
“We’ll be weird together! What should I do if someone gives you trouble over your brother?” He asked with a big smile. Apparently, he doesn’t mind that Jacob is my brother.
“I can stand up for myself, but I’d feel better if I knew you were on my side,” I replied.
“Dylan, hurry up!” I heard a familiar voice calling me, “The Hogwarts Express will be leaving shortly.”
I turned around and saw my parents approaching me.
“Did you get everything on the list?” Mum asked me worriedly.
“Yes mum, I got all the books you listed and a new wand.” I smiled at her.
“I see that you’re already making friends,” Dad noted, looking at Rowan, “What’s the name of this fine young lad?”
“Rowan Khanna!” He answered without hesitating, “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards!”
“Rowan helped me get all the necessary items. Without him, I’d probably still be browsing the bookstore.” I praised my new friend as we were making our way to the King’s Cross Station.
“That’s so sweet of you, dear,” mum politely said to Rowan.
On the way there, she constantly reminded me of the things I should and should not be doing once I am at Hogwarts. I could sense her genuine concern for my well-being.
We passed through the wall between platforms 9 and 10 together. She wanted to hold me all the way until I boarded the train. It made me feel slightly embarrassed in front of my new friend, but I couldn’t deny her this. After all that happened to Jacob, I understood her concern.
When I was about to board the train, dad simply tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Take care, Dylan. I know you won’t let us down!”
Mum, on the other hand, was reluctant to let me go. I could see tears forming in her eyes.
“And don’t forget to write! I’ll expect a letter as soon as you’re sorted,” she demanded, unable to hide the tears that were dripping down her cheeks.
I looked through the window as the train was starting to leave. Both of them were standing there, waving at me. Mum was still crying. I waved back at them and smiled as long as I could see them. Then I used the sleeve of my robe to wipe the tears I was hiding from her.