Meera Goes to Hogwarts: Chapter Three

Take a quick recap: Chapter One and Two.

Meera followed the Prefect to the Hufflepuff dormitory. The entrance to the dormitory was the same as the kitchen. Meera followed quietly trying not to signal a single sound of amazement.  When they reached the entrance with large barrels, the Prefect tapped the second barrel from the bottom four time in a distinct rhythm. Meera was told to memorize the rhythm which is the only way to enter the dormitory.

‘Tap—Tap-Tap———-Tap.’ This was presumably the rhythm of Helga Hufflepuff, the founder of the Hufflepuff house. The barrel opened revealing an entrance to the dormitory. Meera is amazed to see the room. It was cheerful as were the students already inside of it. The common room was decorated with colors of earth, and the house colors black and yellow. The honey colored wooden furnitures and the plants placed neatly on the walls, added to the ambience of the room.

Neal, the boy who Meera had met earlier was already sitting in one of the wooden chairs. He rose as he saw Meera arrive. There was a little girl with him, who seemed a lot younger than him.

‘Meera, meet my sister Benny,’ he said. Benny raised her hand to wave and said, ‘Hello’ in her meek little voice. They were to share the same dormitory.

Neal’s sister was starting her first year in Hogwarts and he was extremely happy that Benny had been sorted into Hufflepuff. He also told Meera that it was not necessary despite being family, that they should be sorted into the same house.

‘How do you come to Hogwarts then?’ he asked Meera.

‘To be honest, I do not know,’ Meera replied.

‘May be Meera’s a great witch…and so,’ Benny was quick to add. But she shyly turned away immediately.

Meera smiled. ‘Thanks,’ she said. May be Hogwarts wasn’t that odd after all.

Meera’s classes were to begin the next day. She was to start with the first years with a couple of extra subjects to be able to cover as much as possible. She looked at the heavy bag Zuck had bought for her. It was filled with books of all kinds. While the topics looked much different from what she had ever seen, the fact that she had to learn all of it made her realize that magic must be studied too. It wasn’t something that was passed down or given without effort.

Meera entered the first class. It was called Charms. A tiny little professor, who was named Zelda was already sitting. The students were ready to begin the class. Meera sat down besides Benny.

‘Wands out!’ Professor Zelda said sharply.

Meera searched her little bag for her wand. She remembered putting everything Benny had told her the night earlier. But she could not find her wand. How could she perform magic without it? She looked left and right. Everyone was ready. Meera felt ashamed for not knowing something so obvious.

‘I don’t have mine,’ she said meekly.

‘Magic without wands!’ yelled a girl from behind, giggling. She was Redna from Ravenclaw.

‘Silence!’ Professor Zelda said. ‘You will have to go and get your wand Meera.’

Continue reading “Meera Goes to Hogwarts: Chapter Three”

Meera Goes to Hogwarts: Chapter Two

Can’t recall the first chapter? Click here.

Meera was skeptic as ever. It was tearing her apart. She didn’t want to go, but Zuck’s words ringed in her ears. Your country’s magic council wants you to study magic at Hogwarts. She didn’t know why she needed to believe someone who had appeared out of thin air. But for some reason she felt it would be equal to betraying if she denied something she was chosen to do. To make things worse, Mayna kept shut. Even after many pleadings, she would not tell Meera more than what Zuck had told her.

It was the 14th day, the day of the no moon. Zuck could appear anytime and Meera would have to make a decision that would challenge everything she ever knew. She was nervous and scared.

Was she ever coming back if she left? Would she ever see her city and the familiar temples again? What if Zuck was a fraud? What if he had given Mayna some crazy medicine to get her to play along? What if he was blackmailing her?

Despite all these questions her suitcase was neatly packed and placed in the corner of her room. Meera knew that Mayna had been keeping a close watch on her as her older sister kept passing by her room every hour since dinner.

It was close to 10 o’ clock at night and there was no sign of Zuck. Meera had begun to think that perhaps it was all a joke after all as she laid over her bed. He wasn’t going to come. And she could place all her clothes back into her closet and sleep.

It was quarter past 11 and Meera had almost fallen asleep when a noise woke her up. She could see a gigantic face looking at her from above. In a flash she screamed and moved towards the edge of the bed. The window was wide open.

‘Got stuck in traffic!’ Zuck said floating in the air seated on his broom as he placed a big bag on the ground. ‘Had to visit Diagon Alley to get all your things for school Meera. Here’s your robe and your books.’

Meera was still by the edge of her bed. Zuck had come after all and now her heart was going to explode.

‘I see your suitcase is packed. So do you want to leave then?’ he asked. ‘But I suggest you change into your robes before heading out.’

Meera knew Mayna was across the door as it flung open.

‘Greetings Zuck!’ said Mayna.

‘Ah greetings to you too Mayna,’ he replied.

Meera could not digest the familiarity in their voices as they greeted each other. But that was less than important at the moment. Zuck looked at her waiting for an answer.

‘I will come,’ she said. Mayna smiled as if she had always known the outcome. Meera changed her clothes which was clearly big for her. Zuck looked sorry for the mismatch. But there was no time.

‘Mount your broom,’ Zuck said, ‘Locomotor!’ he yelled as he waved his wand and her suitcase and the bag he had bought started flying in the air. ‘You’ve never flown that long, but there’s no other way as of now to go to Hogwarts from here. So hold on tight.’

Meera mounted her broom and bid her farewell to her sister and they slowly started flying through the window. Mayna peeked out and yelled, ‘Take care of her Zuck!’ Zuck nodded as they disappeared.

Continue reading “Meera Goes to Hogwarts: Chapter Two”

Reading Harry Potter at 20 something

Vantage Points

I grew up along with two cousin sisters. We started by playing house. We cooked fake dinners and served imaginary tea. Then we moved on to barbie dolls, online dress up games, art and craft (which I sucked at!). After a point it was now time for exams and school assignments (which still hasn’t left us yet!). But whenever we met, there was a time dedicated specially for Harry Potter. My sisters became Potterheads while they were quite young. I on the other hand, listened to the stories they retold. While I had never read the books and watched only a few of the films, their narration of the Hogwarts world never ceased to make me wonder.  But I never picked up the books, not even from the school library.

Enchanted by the magical world, I continued listening to the stories they told me for many years to come. Sometimes it was about the Patronus, other times about Lily Potter and then Severus Snape. It was even more fascinating to see the two of them try their level best to narrate all the interesting portions from the books and the films as young teens.

One fine day last year I picked up the books, courtesy of one of the same Potterhead sister who had just bought the entire series. The covers looked interesting with the illustrations of the famous Harry Potter with his scar. Then, I read, and read, and read.

Three books later, I can slowly understand what was it in the stories my sisters retold that enchanted me so much many years ago. It was the look in their eyes, how innocently they believed in the story and still do, the warm feeling that lingers after you finish reading each chapter and the urge to know what happens next. Now, Harry Potter references are a common thing between the three of us. The bond between us has grown stronger and special in its own way.

Here are my favorite quotes from the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at the 20th year anniversary of its release.

‘You flatter me,’ said Dumbledore calmly. ‘Voldemort had powers I will never have.’

‘We can only guess,’ said Dumbledore. ‘We may never know.’

‘I would trust Hagrid with my life,’ said Dumbledore.

There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve foot mountain troll is one of them.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.

‘And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?’
‘Throw it away and punch him on the nose,’ Ron suggested.

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.

It takes great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

I’d like to believe there’s a reason why I began reading Harry Potter at 20 something instead of 12, and the magic is still as strong as ever. I continue to remain awe stuck at the the world crafted by J.K. Rowling through her fine words.

With each page I turn, I marvel at the power of literature, words and stories. I smile, I hope and I dream. And I continue to write.