Back at Hogwarts, my roommates and I had an agreement to not use any alarms or alarm spells ever since Joanne’s alarm spell woke everyone up except Joanne. Apparently, the spell Joanne casted was a spell to alarm other people, not an alarm to wake up the caster.
And ever since I missed breakfast when I decided to sleep in a little after my first Astronomy, I’ve been waking up early every day without the help of an alarm or spell. (“Who goes to a class at midnight?”)
That was the reason why I was currently awake, laying in bed, thinking of my future.
Today was September first. The Hogwarts Express would leave at eleven o’clock in the morning and the first years would get sorted into their house, if they still had the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts.
For once in the past two months of knowing that I would no longer be going to Hogwarts, I felt glad.
Glad that I didn’t have to go to Hogwarts or be in the Wizarding World.
Glad that I didn’t have to see Professor Snape’s oily hair.
Glad that I was far away from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s nonexistent hair.
Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep, I left my room and went into the kitchen to find something to eat.
One thing that I’ll probably never get used to is not being able to sneak into the Hogwarts kitchen to get something to eat from the house-elves anytime I wanted to.
My mother entered the kitchen as I was stuffing cereal into my face.
My mother had tried to get my wand away from so I don’t do any magic on accident or on reflex. But after hours of arguing, she finally let me keep it. (“What if I need my wand to protect myself?”)
The Muggle secondary school starts at quarter to nine, and from experiences from primary school, I knew that I had to be out of the house at least thirty minutes prior to the time the warning bell rang. If I wasn’t out of the house by then, I was sure to be late for school if I didn’t run.
Trust me. I knew from experience.
That was another thing that I’ll never get used to. Walking to the Muggle secondary school instead of riding the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade Station. And the thought of having to walk to school every single day, morning and afternoon, seemed tiring compared to the four trips on the Hogwarts Express. And on the Hogwarts Express, you could sit the entire time.
As I made my way to the school, I saw a few other people doing the same.
I recognized one of them, Justin, from my class in year five.
I was glad that the Muggle secondary school I was going to was the one I was originally planning on going to before I got my Hogwarts letter. This meant that I would know many people from primary school; more importantly, this meant that I would have my friends from primary school.
And I did not have to survive the Muggle secondary school alone.
Two blocks later, I arrived in front of Caroline’s house.
Caroline and I used to be really close before I left for “private school,” but during the summers and winters when I would be home, I would always spend time with her. Caroline was ecstatic when she learned that I was going to the Muggle secondary school with her.
She made me promise her that we would walk to and from school every day.
Ringing the doorbell, Caroline immediately swung open the door. Almost knocking me in the face, I must add.
“Sarah, what’s your timetable?” What a wonderful greeting, Caroline.
Caroline then proceeded to grab the timetable out of my hand.
“I’m in all A-Level classes,” I told her.
Caroline was smart, so I was sure that she also had an A-Level class. But she most likely only had A-Level maths. Being in all A-Level classes was probably the only plus about putting the Headmaster under the Imperius Curse.
“We have maths, gym, study hall, and lunch together.”
This made me feel relieved. Three classes and lunch I had someone I knew.
Being the smart kid I was, it was always hard for me to make friends back in elementary school because most of my former classmates looked at me as a “nerd.”
But at Hogwarts, the entire Ravenclaw were “nerds” and I fitted right in.
Turning around, Caroline yelled, “Bye, Mum!”
My first two classes weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be because there were people that I recognized: family friends, siblings of friends, and neighbors. The only problem was that in the past four years at Hogwarts, I had learned nothing Muggle secondary school related.
In the past four years, I had learned nothing about English, maths, science, or history.
Instead, at Hogwarts, we had Charms, Quidditch games, Potions, and History of Magic.
In Charms, we had to annunciate spells perfectly for them to work right.
One hundred fifty points need to be added to the team who catches the Golden Snitch.
Potions was literally a bunch of chemistry labs.
And History of Magic taught the boring history of the world no one will actually use in the future. Just like history at Muggle schools.
Other than these somewhat similar classes, I had learned nothing about English, maths, science, or history. And to make things worse, I was in all A-Level classes, which made everything much more challenging.
When I walked into the science classroom, second period, for the first time and saw all the posters hanging on the walls, I knew that it was going to be a very hard year. Unless, of course, I somehow sneak in an Auto-Answer Quill, from last Christmas, without anyone noticing that I was using a quill instead of a pencil.
After my horrifying experience in science, my first class with Caroline arrived. And it was probably going to be the only class I’ll pass with an excellent grade.
Dropping my bookbag in the designated area, I entered the gym. Caroline and some of my old friends were already huddled into their own group. Joining them, I waited for one of the coaches to begin the class.
Unlike primary school, Broom Flight Class, and Hogwarts Quidditch teams, it seemed like gym at this Muggle secondary school was not co-ed. So far all the pupils and coaches were all female.
“Sarah!” exclaimed Anna when she realized I was there. “Caroline said that you were here, but I didn’t actually think she was telling the truth.”
Anna and a bunch of my other old friends surrounded me with pats on the heads and hugs. I awkwardly stood still in the middle while it all happened.
ERRR! The bell rang.
This was a third thing that I will never get used to. At Hogwarts, the bell sounded completely different.
Whilst at Hogwarts the bell sounded peaceful and pleasant to the ear, here at the Muggle secondary school it sounded like a constipated pig trying to take a dump while eating human rejects and mooing all at once.
“Girls,” shouted one of the coaches, “come into the middle!”
For the next thirty minutes, the coaches informed us what was going to happen the rest of the week, when we would get our gym uniforms, what we needed to bring to gym, what we do in gym, and tryouts for the school sports teams.
“If you want to try out for any of the school sports teams, there are papers hanging on the wall by the door. Most tryouts will start in two or three weeks,” said one of the coaches.
If only Muggles played Quidditch.
Then life would be much better.
After, the coaches didn’t really talk much and I didn’t really pay attention after either. All I could think about was Quidditch, and my broom and Beater’s bat that my mother took when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to take my wand away.
When the coaches finished talking, everyone just spread throughout the gym and formed into their own group of friends.
I went with Caroline, Anna, and our other friends, but they ended up talking about television shows. At Hogwarts, there was no technology and my mother didn’t approve of televisions. I ended up just staring at all the other people in the gym, not paying much attention to what they were saying.
Across the gym, I saw someone walk up to the papers hanging on the wall by the door and grabbing one.
Interested, I went to the papers to see what sports the school had.
What in the name of Merlin is that?
All of them were your typical sport: track and field, football, and rugby just to name a few. But what caught my eyes were the papers for rounders and cricket.
Rounders and cricket.
They were both perfect for a Quidditch Beater like me who no longer had a Beater’s bat or a broom. Rounders, cricket, and a Quidditch Beater all needed a bat that was used to hit a flying ball.
Excitedly, I grabbed both papers and rushed back to my friends.
“What do you think I should do?” I asked my friends. “Rounders or cricket?”
I was replied with a mix of both rounders, cricket, and I don’t cares.
“Do rounders,” said Emily, “then we can practice with each other.”
Now that I was reminded of it, I remembered that Emily had been playing rounders since year four. She would be a great help to have around. I needed to learn about rules and techniques, and Emily was perfect to teach me.
While most Beaters in Quidditch just tried to hit the Bludgers away from their teammates, I had always tried to aim at the opposing team members. Especially if we were going against Slytherin.
However, if I ever tried to do that in a rounders match, the opposing team would surely catch the ball.
Unless I hit the ball really hard, so hard that whoever tries to catch the ball will fall backwards from impact and fail to catch the ball.
How hard would it be to hit a rounders ball extremely hard if a Bludger weighed over one hundred pounds?