Chapter One- First Year
Waverly Earp remembered her sister’s 11th birthday as if it had only occurred the day before and not 6 years ago. Wynonna had raced down the stairs past her and Gus straight out the front door and wrenched open the mailbox. Gus had gazed knowingly out of the window while Waverly scrambled up onto the couch to try and see her sister who was jumping for joy in their front yard. Wynonna scurried up the front steps and flung herself through the door into the living room. “I got in!” She screeched “I got in!” Gus gave her a wide smile and wrapped her arms around her in a tight hug. Waverly didn’t really see what all the fuss was about.
6 years later and Waverly was experiencing the same excitement her sister had that morning as she lay in bed wide awake- simply waiting for the tell-tale signs of Gus moving around her room so that she could run downstairs and see if her letter had arrived.
6 years of researching Hogwarts; its professors, its history, all of its courses and every damn thing she could find out. 6 years of hoping she would get her letter. 6 years of waiting finally over.
Cause there it was again; the doubt. The years she had spent filling her mind with knowledge of Hogwarts had also been occupied by the almost overwhelming fear that it was all for nought, that she wouldn’t be accepted or even worse; that she wasn’t a witch.
Either way, she would find out this morning. A small clatter sounded from the room adjacent to Waverly’s signalling that Gus had awoken. A grin spread across her features and she flung the covers back, swinging her legs over the side of the bed before racing to her door. Upon opening it she locked eyes with Gus who smiled that very same smile from 6 years ago, only this time rather than being directed at Wynonna, it was directed at her. “Go on kid, go and check.” Waverly grinned wider, briefly wrapping her arms around Gus’ waist before scurrying down the stairs and out the front door.
The hot earth burned her bare feet as she ran out to the mailbox but the feeling was overpowered by the cacophony of anxiety, joy, and fear swirling in her chest. Her heart raced as she opened the mailbox slowly, carefully, as if the contents were volatile. Waverly reached inside and she thumbed the crisp envelope within. The young girl refused to let her hopes rise too high- maybe it was just a birthday card? A breath rattled throughout her ribcage as she pulled the mail out. The green ink on the envelope was enough to make her heart soar. Waverly turned it over in her hands and ghosted a finger across the wax seal bearing the four noble Hogwarts houses before carefully breaking it and opening out the letter within.
Her eyes crinkled as another grin cracked her face, she turned to see Gus and Wynonna standing in the doorway of the homestead.
“I’m going to Hogwarts!”
Waverly thought that her birthday had been the best day of her life but as she tried to take in the entirety of Diagon Alley she began to reassess her harsh decision. The bustling people, crowded shops and the overall feeling of life in the wizarding world she was currently experiencing was beginning to seem like the better day.
Three hours of shopping done Gus, Wynonna and Waverly sat outside an ice cream parlour and enjoyed some unusually flavoured sundaes. Almost all of Waverly’s supplies had been bought, all that was left was a wand and, if Gus allowed it, a familiar.
“Now I believe it’s time we got you a wand don’t you think?” Wynonna grinned down at her sister, twirling her own in the air in front of her.
They made their way down the alley and turned into a rickety old building with a sign that read ‘Ollivander’s Wands’. The three stepped through the doorway and Waverly sucked in a breath of wonder; shelves filled with boxes upon boxes of wands littered the walls around them. She spun around, trying to take in as much of the shop as she could before Gus steered her over to the counter where an unusual looking man stood. He pushed his glasses up his nose and peered down at Waverly before turning to Wynonna
“Miss Earp, how lovely to see you again.”
“We both know you don’t mean that Ollie.” Wynonna joked, smirking slightly “The wands I tried before my wand chose me wreaked havoc on this place.”
“True- but I’m sure Waverly here won’t have the same problem.” He smiled warmly back at the younger girl. “Let’s find you a wand.” He turned away and started rifling through the boxes stacked high upon the floor, knocking many over in the process. Ollivander whipped around with a dusty box grasped tightly in his hands “10 inch, holly, unicorn hair flexible.” He handed it to Waverly, she expected something to happen but it just sat in her hands as if she was holding nothing more than an ordinary pencil, Ollivander took it back carefully. “No, what was I thinking?” He returned to rummaging through the boxes, this time on one of the shelves high above Waverly’s head. He returned with another tattered box. “16 inch, Rowan, veela hair.” Once again he handed the wand to Waverly and once again nothing happened. She began to get disheartened, what if the letter had been wrong after all? “No matter, child.” Ollivander turned and ran through to the back of the shop; he returned around 3 minutes later brandishing a box in far better condition than the rest. “Third time lucky, as the Muggles say.” Waverly reached out to grasp the wooden handle and hoped beyond hope that this was her wand. As soon as she curled her fingers tightly around it a warm feeling spread across her palm and a few yellow sparks flew out the end of the wand. “That’s it, young lady, that’s your wand.” Ollivander smiled at her and Wynonna “13 inch, Birch, dragon heartstring centre, and sturdy.” Waverly looked down in wonder at her wand- it was beautiful, with engraved patterns in the wood of the handle. “Very different to your sister’s,” he commented, taking the wand from Waverly’s hands and placing it gently back in the box.
“She always has been different.” Wynonna ruffled Waverly’s hair who glared up at her in response. Gus paid for the wand at the counter but refused to let Waverly get a familiar for her first year.
“Wynonna waited until her third year for Peacer.” She reminded, referring to Wynonna’s owl. “You can wait until then too.” Waverly gave a small pout but knew that Gus was only trying to be fair. “Guess that’s all our shopping done- you ready to go home?” Waverly looked up at the rickety shop fronts and bowing buildings.
“I think I am home.”
For the first time in her life, Waverly Earp was not late to arrive somewhere.
She had expected she would have to drag Wynonna out of bed on the morning of September the first and physically carry her to Kings Cross Station only to just make the train on time. She was thoroughly surprised to find however that Wynonna had gotten up early that morning and was fully packed and ready to go by the time Waverly had just finished breakfast. Waverly looked at her sister incredulously while Wynonna shrugged with the reply of “What? I know this means a lot to you…and how much you hate to be late.” The brunette had thrown her arms around her older sister who had returned the gesture as well as pressing a gentle kiss to the top of her head. Wynonna had knelt down to Waverly’s eye level, grasping her left shoulder gently while whispering “Come on go and get ready, I can’t wait to show you the Hogwarts Express.” That was the only encouragement Waverly had needed and she pounded up the stairs, hurriedly throwing on her robes before meeting Gus and Wynonna out at the truck with her suitcase in tow.
In reality, it was Waverly herself who almost made the sisters late as upon arriving at the train station and running through the portal in the wall, she had done nothing else but gaze around in wonder at the gathered students, parents, and animals. In the end, Wynonna was the one dragging her onto the train after a tearful goodbye to Gus who waved them off at the platform.
The two sisters had just piled their luggage into one of the overhead compartments when Wynonna turned to Waverly and placed both hands on her shoulders. “Now Wave, you know I’m not the most well-liked student at Hogwarts.” Waverly nodded, the temptation to roll her eyes was overwhelming- she had overheard many a vehement howler from Professor McGonagall, screaming about her need to accept responsibility for her actions and acclimate better into student life at Hogwarts. “I want to give you the best possible chance you can to make friends here so that means we’re gonna have to part ways here Baby girl.” Waverly’s smile dropped
“Wait, what?” but Wynonna was already walking away down the corridor.
“You’ll be fine!” she called and disappeared into the next carriage. Reality soon sunk in for Waverly as the train pulled away from the station and she was jolted into the wall of the nearest compartment.
“Hey watch it Girlie!” A male voice sounded from inside the doorway. She turned to see a very greasy looking boy sneering back her. “This compartment is for normals only so beat it.” His friends laughed while Waverly’s lip trembled “With a sister like Wynonna,” he turned to the boy to his left, nudging his shoulder in jest “It’s a wonder she hasn’t set fire to the train yet.” Waverly’s lip continued to tremble and tears welled in her eyes. “I said beat it!” the brunette began to hurry away but not before hearing the jeers of the boy’s friends.
“Nice one, Champ.” Waverly angrily brushed the tears from her eyes, madder at herself for crying than actually at Champ’s insults. She was so focused on storming away from the compartment containing said boy that she did not notice the girl who had come to a stop in front of her. Naturally, because karma was not on her side that day Waverly crashed into the aforementioned girl and sent her tumbling to the ground. She threw a hand to her mouth in shock before regaining equilibrium and reached the other hand out to the girl sprawled on the floor.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I totally wasn’t watching where I was going.” The girl took Waverly’s offered hand and pulled herself upright.
“It’s alright, don’t worry about it- I probably shouldn’t have stopped so sudden like.” The girl stood up properly to tower over Waverly. She brushed her red hair back from her face and smiled down at the Earp. “I’m Nicole, Nicole Haught.” She shook the hand of Waverly’s that she was still holding.
“Waverly.” She smiled up at the redhead, introducing herself. An awkward silence stretched between them and before Waverly could start babbling to fill it and no doubt embarrasses herself, even more, Nicole broke the silence.
“I’ll get out of your way and let you get back to your friends.” She stepped to the side and gestured her arm in the direction that Waverly had previously been walking in.
“I don’t have any,” Waverly replied without thinking, shuffling her feet awkwardly.
“Friends.” Waverly grimaced “Okay that sounded bad…I meant I don’t have any friends that I need to be getting back to, I’m just looking for a compartment.” Nicole nodded once, briefly gazing down at her shoes before flicking her eyes to the open compartment next to them.
“Well I was gonna sit in here, and seeing as though I don’t have any friends to get back to either, why don’t we ride this out together?” a grin pulled at the corners of Waverly’s mouth.
“Yeah.” Nicole took another step to the side. “After you.”
The journey to Hogwarts was spent chatting about their lives before receiving their Hogwarts letter and what they hoped their first year was going to be like. Waverly learned that Nicole was Muggle-Born and entirely new to the whole ‘magic’ thing and in turn, Waverly told Nicole of her renegade sister and her antics. By the time the train pulled to a stop Waverly could not have been more grateful to have run into the tall redhead.
Stepping out into the cool night air Waverly was even more grateful of Nicole- or more specifically her height- as it enabled them to see over the heads of the other students and to the direction that the First years needed to take. They were led down to a lake by a very tall hairy man who introduced himself as Hagrid where they were ushered onto boats that rowed by themselves. Waverly gazed around in silent wonder as Hogwarts came into view in the distance, almost toppling out of the boat as she tried to get a better look. Nicole chuckled beside her and Waverly grinned.
Soon they were being led into the Great Hall and if Waverly didn’t stop gazing up at the enchanted ceiling she was sure she was going to tumble into Nicole all over again. The candles flickered warmth above their heads and the rolling clouds tumbled over one another, momentarily blocking glistening stars that littered the ceiling like fireflies. After filing into the hall the sorting hat was placed on a three-legged stool and sang about the history of Hogwarts- all of which Waverly already knew. As the hat sang her gaze roamed across the gathered students all sitting along the great house tables. Automatically her eyes snapped to the Slytherin table where she spotted Wynonna waving at her enthusiastically.
Waverly’s attention was brought back to the front of the hall however when Professor McGonagall took to the podium and announced that the Sorting ceremony was about to begin.
Student after student filed up to the stool and sat down, nerves etched into their every feature. Soon it was Waverly’s turn. “Earp, Waverly!” McGonagall called out and no sooner had she uttered her name that the whispers began. The hall was encompassed by hushed conversation as she shuffled up to the podium. Professor McGonagall smiled briefly at her before she sat down on the rickety stool. Silence descended over the hall once again as the hat was placed upon her head and slipped over her eyes. Waverly squeezed them shut- all of her reading regarding Hogwarts had led her to the conclusion that she belonged in Ravenclaw.
“Hmm Ravenclaw you say?” a voice whispered in her ear, Waverly recognised it as the voice of the sorting hat. “Yes your heart is full of the want of knowledge…your head already filled with some too…” Waverly grasped the sides of the stool, knuckles turning white. It was like the wand all over again- it was taking too much time to decide. Anxiety began to swell in her chest and prickle down her spine. “I know exactly where you belong.” The hat whispered before screeching out “Hufflepuff!” her eyes snapped open as the hat was removed from her head. She blinked once and focused on the table that was currently on its feet and cheering for her.
This was not what she had expected.
Waverly made her way over to the table adorned with gold and sat between two more First years. As she made herself comfortable on the bench she overheard a conversation between two older boys, not too far from where she was sat. “A Slytherin and a Hufflepuff, these Earp girls get weirder every year.” The other sniggered in response and Waverly tried to ignore them, turning her attention back to the front of the hall. She rolled her eyes as the next name to be called was that of Champ- the idiot from the train. He swaggered up to the stool and sat down confidently. The hat took three whole minutes to decide on his house, by which time his cocky smile had dropped but soon swept up again when Gryffindor was called as his house. The brunette’s attention was rapt however as Nicole’s name was the next to be called up to the podium.
Waverly watched as Nicole sat down nervously in a similar manner to the way she had done herself. The hat had no sooner brushed across her eyebrows when it shouted out “Hufflepuff!” Waverly’s face split into a grin and she erupted into applause alongside the other Hufflepuffs. She waved Nicole down to sit next to her and enveloped her in a warm hug.
“I’m so glad we’re in the same house!” Waverly whispered excitedly as the sorting ceremony continued on around them.
“Me too.” They grinned at each other again, chatting quietly as students were sorted into their houses. Soon all the first years were sat at their tables and McGonagall took to the podium again.
“On behalf of Hogwarts, I welcome each and every one of you and implore the older students to teach the new ones the ways of their houses.” She flicked her wand once in the direction of the tables and the golden platters in front of each student were filled with delicious food; from roast chicken, beef and potatoes to casseroles and gravy. Waverly wasted no time in digging in.
After the feast was finished each of the houses’ first years were lead from the hall by a prefect of their respective houses. Waverly and Nicole tried to stick together in the mass of students wandering down the stairs. Nicole looked confused as to why they were being led downstairs and past the kitchens but Waverly knew it was the location of their common room, she relayed this information to Nicole. “Really?”
“Guess we can sneak out for midnight snacks then.” Waverly giggled and Nicole beamed. Soon they came to a stop and the Prefect who introduced himself as Sam showed them the correct barrel to push in order to open it up into a doorway that led them into the common room.
The room itself was circular in shape with a warm fire that burned yellow in a round stone fireplace, above it, circular windows streamed in the moonlight from the dark sky outside. Plants hung above plush couches sat atop fluffy rugs that covered the wooden floor. Sconces in the walls cast a flickering glow over the room, illuminating bookcases and the faces of those other Hufflepuffs who were relaxing in the common area sat around wooden tables in chairs “Its four to a room, usually we assign beds but I’m far too tired for that so get into pairs and I’ll just put two and two together.” Waverly instantly grabbed Nicole’s hand and laced their fingers together, she looked up at the shocked expression on the redhead’s face and instantly dropped it again.
“Sorry…uh you don’t have to room with me if you don’t want.” Waverly shuffled her feet awkwardly. Stupid. Stupid. Of course, she doesn’t want to room with you. She was surprised to feel fingers intertwine with hers again. She looked up to see Nicole grinning down at her. Waverly’s stomach flip-flopped.
“Of course I want to room with you…I just wasn’t sure you’d want to room with me.” The moment was interrupted when Sam tapped her on the shoulder and directed her to another pair of girls who introduced themselves as Chrissy and Sarah. The four were nudged in the direction of a corridor and given the room number 2, upon entering the room Waverly suddenly realised how exhausted she was and could not have been more grateful for the many pillows and blankets that were strewn across her bed. She bid good night to each of the girls and fell onto the bed, letting sleep claim her not long later.
After over a month of classes, Hogwarts was everything Waverly could have ever hoped for. Potions was a breeze, Transfiguration beyond interesting, she was top of her class in Charms and already reading ahead to third-year spells. Every morning she woke up with a spring in her step ready to go to class and dragging Nicole behind her- the two had become fast friends and every hour that wasn’t spent sat next to each other in class was spent either in the common room or in the library silently studying together. It was during one of these study sessions that Waverly was reading over her Defence against the Dark Arts homework and suddenly realised she had no idea what to do. She groaned and lay her head down on top of her textbook. She sensed rather than saw Nicole gaze over at her. “Hey, what’s up?” she whispered
“I don’t get this at all,” Waverly mumbled into the worn old pages, somehow Nicole heard her.
“I don’t get it…I’m already failing this class and it’s only been just over a month.” Waverly turned to look at Nicole through the hair that covered her eyes. Nicole smiled warmly at her, shaking her head in dismay.
“Wave, it’s one piece of homework, you’re not failing.”
“It’s not just one assignment, I always have to reread each chapter three times before I can even grasp what it’s trying to say. I hate this class.” She turned her head again, burying her nose in the spine of the book.
“Well, you’re in luck.” Nicole chuckled, resting a hand on Waverly’s shoulder gently. “Defence Against the Dark Arts just so happens to be my best subject- I can tutor you if you like?” Waverly’s head snapped up, jostling Nicole’s hand from her shoulder; she grinned at her best friend.
“You’d do that?”
“Of course, what are friends for?” Waverly’s grin widened and she grasped Nicole’s arm.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” The brunette was practically buzzing with excitement. “I’ll make it up to you I promise.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Nicole shrugged it off “I’m happy to help you.”
Life continued on at Hogwarts, every week Waverly would meet up with Wynonna in the Great Hall and catch up with everything that had happened that week and once a month each would send and receive a letter from Gus with Wynonna’s owl Peacer- an unfortunate name stemming from Wynonna’s speech impediment in third year that caused everyone to think that Peter was actually Peacer; in the end they just kept the name.
The sisters stayed at Hogwarts over Christmas and enjoyed the fortnight racing around the halls on the rollerblades Gus had sent them as presents (each pair decorated in the girls’ corresponding house colours). Waverly missed Nicole terribly; along with Chrissy and Sarah she had gone home for the holidays and her dorm room was far too quiet without them. Soon, however, the students returned and life went back to normal. Classes passed, assignments were handed in and before Waverly knew it, it was July and she was packing up her belongings into a suitcase and hauling it onto the Hogwarts Express. She and Nicole tried to make the journey last as long as possible and traded contact details to keep in touch over the summer.
It all went by too fast and no sooner had the train left Hogwarts was it pulling into Kings Cross Station. Waverly stepped off the train in subdued silence and waved goodbye to Nicole as she spotted Gus beckoning her over. “Promise to write?” Waverly breathed as she tried not to cry.
“I promise.” Nicole wrapped her up into a tight hug. Waverly let go and turned away, as she made her way over to Gus though she couldn’t help but smile. It was only two months and besides; Waverly Earp had survived her first year of Hogwarts.